PUBS group Mitchells & Butlers yesterday announced it has appointed Adam Fowle as chief executive, who has been acting in the role since 21 May.<br /><br />Fowle was parachuted in as acting chief executive after an ill-fated 2007 joint venture with property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz forced the resignation of then executive Tim Clarke. Under Clarke pre-tax losses jumped to £500m. <br /><br />M&B’s chairman, Drummond Hall, said Fowle was a “very strong candidate” to take on the role permanently. Fowle joined the board in October 2007 when he was appointed managing director for restaurants.<br /><br />He has more than 20 years’ experience in licenced retailing, having joined Mitchells & Butlers in 1984, holding a number of operational and strategic roles. Fowle took a break from the group to act as retail director at J Sainsbury for two years before rejoining Mitchells & Butlers in 2005 as business development director.<br /><br />Hall said: “I have no doubt that Fowle will continue to build on the excellent track record he has already developed at the company and, drawing on his wealth of experience, will continue to drive the business's strong performance.”<br /><br />Clarke had been “encouraged” to step down in May by M&B’s largest shareholders, who include Joe Lewis and Elpida, the investment vehicle of Irish tycoons John Magnier and JP McManus. Analysts said the appointment clears the way for the pub group, which already owns chains All Bar One and O’Neills, to attempt to buy some of Spirit.