M&B restarts the hunt for new Blood

JEREMY Blood is planning to step down from the helm of Mitchells & Butlers following the aborted £940m takeover by billionaire Joe Lewis, it is understood.

Blood was appointed as interim chief executive in March to replace Adam Fowle, who left “by mutual consent” after two years in the post.

City A.M. understands the former Scottish & Newcastle managing director made it clear he always took the role on an interim basis, and that the ongoing search for a full-time chief executive for the pub group – which was put on hold during the takeover talks by its largest shareholder Joe Lewis – has been restarted.

James Hyde, a senior partner at headhunter Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann, worked on the July appointment of Ron Robson as M&B’s non-executive deputy chairman, and it is understood Hyde has been asked to lead the hunt for suitable chief executive candidates, as well as at least two additional non-executive directors.

Meanwhile, Bob Ivell, who agreed to become acting chairman after Simon Burke quit on 14 July, is facing pressure to stay on permanently. Plans to recruit a new chairman were shelved last month when Lewis made his opening possible bid of 230p per share.

There are as yet no plans for Ivell to discuss his position with Lewis, but it is understood the pair will meet in the coming weeks.

Both Blood and Ivell were unavailable for comment.