David Campbell named as PizzaExpress new group CEO

Former Wagamama CEO and Bill's executive chairman David Campbell has been named as PizzaExpress' latest group chief executive.

The news comes as PizzaExpress announces the completion of its recapitalisation, giving the company a 'strong balance sheet and significant funds to invest in growth in the years ahead'.

Allan Leighton (also a former CEO of Wagamama) joins Campbell on the board as chairman, while current managing director of PizzaExpress UK and Ireland Zoe Bowley will sit on the main board alongside group CFO Andy Pellington. 

The company’s new capital structure sees total debt reduced by over £400m, from £735m to £319m, and includes the immediate injection of £40m of new capital.

In addition, the business has a further £90m of funds available from the new owners.

“This is a unique opportunity in casual dining," says Leighton. "With a significant recapitalisation of the company, and substantial further funds committed, we look to building on our position as a leader in the casual dining market, once Covid restrictions are eased.

"There is great future for PizzaExpress delivering great pizza and a brilliant customer experience.”

“PizzaExpress is an iconic brand, which has enjoyed much success over its 55-year history," adds Campbell.

"The chance to steer the company to even greater heights in the years ahead is an honour.

"First, I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of Zoe Bowley, the leadership team, all PizzaExpress colleagues, and the support of business partners, during these extremely challenging times.

"I am very much looking forward to working with the team, and with the backing of a strong balance sheet, on some exciting times ahead.”

Crowley comments: “2020 has been a very tough year, and obviously remains so as we start the second lockdown.

"I would like to acknowledge the resilience and commitment of all our teams who have made me incredibly proud.

"After the reshaping of the company, we can now start to accelerate and grow PizzaExpress, with new shareholders, a strong balance sheet, and a new experienced chairman and group chief executive.”