He will step down from the Punch board with effect from Friday 1 February 2013.
To ensure continuity in the leadership of Punch, particularly during the ongoing capital structure discussions, Stephen Billingham has been appointed as executive chairman and Neil Griffiths has been appointed as chief operating officer, with immediate effect. Consequently, a new chief executive will not be appointed at this time.
Billingham has been non-executive chairman since September 2011. Neil Griffiths has been Punch’s Property and Turnaround Director and has been with the Group since 2001. He has 25 years’ experience in the leisure and hospitality industry having held senior management roles in Warner Brothers and Bass.
Punch’s current trading performance remains in line with the Board’s expectations. Led by Finance Director, Steve Dando, the Group is continuing its discussions with significant stakeholders and expects to make another announcement about its capital structure in due course.
Billingham said: “I would like to thank Roger for his significant contribution to the Group over the last 4 years. Roger and the Board have set out a clear operational plan to return the core estate to growth and maximise value from our non-core assets. I am confident that with the appointment of Neil Griffiths as COO and with the experienced management team in place at Punch we will continue with the progress we are making in delivering on these key strategic goals. The Board wishes Roger every success in his new role.”
Whiteside has been a non-executive director of Greggs since March 2008. He began his career at Marks & Spencer where he spent 20 years, ultimately becoming head of its food business. He was then one of the founding team of Ocado, and served as joint managing director from 2000 to 2004.