Toby Smith becomes new CEO at Novus Leisure

By Mark Wingett, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

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Toby Smith has become the new chief executive of Novus Leisure
Toby Smith has become the new chief executive of Novus Leisure
Toby Smith, who recently stepped down from Stonegate Pub Company, has been appointed the new chief executive of Novus Leisure, the London-based premium bar and restaurant operator.

Smith, who has over 20 years’ experience in the leisure sector, replaces Tim Cullum, who has taken the decision to leave the 46-strong group. Cullum was appointed chief operating officer in June 2013 and promoted to chief executive shortly afterwards.

Smith became chief executive of Stonegate in June 2011 following the acquisition of Town and City Pub Company which he had led since 2008. He was instrumental in growing Stonegate into the UK’s largest and most profitable privately owned managed pub company.

Cullum has led Novus, which is backed by LGV Capital and Huttin Collins, throughout a period of upheaval and is believed to have been instrumental in improving the operational standards of the business, in particular, and delivering the successful repositioning of three of the group’s key sites. He will remain with Novus for a suitable handover period in order assist Smith in his new role.

The company said: “Tim has worked tirelessly to bring about these achievements and the Board would like to place on record their appreciation for his efforts.”


Cullum said: “I have enjoyed my time with Novus and, together with my committed and talented team, we have made significant improvements across the business. I look forward to new challenges over the coming months, but would like to thank everyone at Novus for their support and wish them well for the future.”

Smith said: “I am delighted to be joining Novus at such an exciting time in its history. Without doubt it has the best located sites of any UK leisure operator and I am looking forward to working with the team to create the best premium business in the country.”

Cullum’s appointment as chief executive coincided with Graham Turner, the former chief executive of Tragus, becoming chairman. Turner stepped down from the role in August to pursue other interests and build on his non-executive roles.

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