King will join the group as chief operating officer in January 2019 and oversee its ambitions to grow its pub portfolio. He is tasked with caring for Bourne Leisure and Butlin’s leisure company, which turn over £1bn and £230m per year respectively, after a period as director for Haven Caravan Parks.
Oakman Inns reported a like-for-like sales growth of 8.5% in its most recent trading update, with its newest sites exceeding performance expectations. New sites are planned in Farnham, Wokingham, Buckingham, Epsom and Hatfield.
Oakman Inns founder and chief executive Peter Borg-Neal said the appointment would ready the group for the challenges posed by the pubco’s planned expansion rate.
He explained: “With that vision and breadth of ambition, we felt the time was right to find someone who had the same level of customer focus as our team and who would understand our community and corporate ethos.
“We wanted someone who not only spoke our language, but who would also bring something fresh to the table.”
Borg-Neal added: “We have had long discussions, and Dermot has run his critical eye over the business and I am delighted to say he has agreed to join the business in this significant step on our ongoing journey.”
The group’s first site opened in 2007 in Tring, Hertfordshire, and the company’s portfolio now comprises more than 20 pubs across the country.