The former chief executive of the Laurel Pub Company is to rejoin the new-look business as chairman.
Ian Payne masterminded the disposal of Laurel's community estate to Greene King in 2004, and the sale of the company's remaining managed estate to Roger Tchenguiz's R20 later that year.
He succeeds Chris Hutt, who has been non-executive chairman of the company, since its takeover in December 2004.
Laurel took over Yates Group last summer and 100 outlets from the failed SFI Group. It is currently undertaking a review of the business, which may see some of its brands ditched.
Payne said: "Chris and Julian have built Laurel into an industry-leading portfolio of more than 400 pubs and bars. I look forward to working with Julian and R20 in taking it to the next stage of its development."
Hutt, previously chief executive of Wizard Inns, is believed to be working on a number of pub projects in a consultancy capacity.
By Chris Druce
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