Punch CEO Duncan Garrood steps down after Heineken sale

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Time: Punch's CEO Duncan Garrood steps down
Time: Punch's CEO Duncan Garrood steps down

Related tags: Corporate governance, Chief financial officer, Management occupations

Punch chief executive Duncan Garrood will step down following the sale of 1,900 Punch pubs to Heineken, saying it is time for a new CEO to lead.

It was announced today (6 September) chief financial officer (CFO) Steve Dando will step up into the role of interim CEO until a new head is found in 2018.

Dando has served as CFO for the past two years, but according to his LinkedIn profile, has been with the pubco for more than six.

In a statement, Garrood, who has served as CEO for two years, said: “Over the past couple of years, Punch has undergone a transformation from a financially distressed business, through to the development of a customer service and hospitality-focused outlook and the rollout of a thriving retail model."

'New ownership'

He added: “Our shareholders have now received a substantial premium to the prevailing share price when I joined, and the business is transitioning to new ownership.

“It seemed to me the time was right for a new CEO to lead Punch into the next phase of its development, and for me to look to my next challenge.”

Serving at Punch had been a privilege, the boss added, saying the team at the company was strong and had delivered during challenging times.

Punch director and senior Patron Capital partner Stephen Green said: “On behalf of the company, I would like to thank Duncan for his service and wish him well in his future endeavours.

“The company will announce further details of the new permanent CEO who will be joining the business in due course. In the meantime, we would like to thank Steve Dando, Punch’s CFO, for agreeing to act as interim CEO until the new permanent CEO joins the business.”

Sell 400 pubs

Last year, the CEO told The Morning Advertiser ​it expected to sell 400 pubs​ over the next four years, predicting sales would take place “pub by pub”.

It was likely around 100 pubs would be sold a year over the next four years, but would not be packaged up in deals, he claimed.

However, 1,900 of Punch’s 3,200 sites will be sold to Heineken’s Star Pubs & Bars estate, forming the third largest pubco in the UK.

Last month (25 August), investor Patron Capital completed its £1.8bn acquisition​ of Punch’s entire estate, forming the first part of a complex deal that will transform the face of the pub industry.

Related topics: Punch Taverns

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