Kieran Rabbitt has resigned from his role as director of managed house operations at Manchester-based pub company JW Lees, to pursue new opportunities.
Rabbitt had worked with the company since May 2013.
His career includes over two decades at restaurants and bars operator Mitchells and Butlers, including senior executive responsibility for the brands Harvester, Innkeeper's Lodge, Vintage Inns, Fayre & Square, and Toby Carvery. He was also operations director for Chef & Brewer (now part of the Spirit Pub Company), regional operations director for former parent company Punch Taverns, and also worked as operations director for Stonegate Pubs before coming to JW Lees.
Commenting on his departure from JW Lees, effective from yesterday (Monday 2 March), Rabbitt thanked the teams that he had worked with, and explained that he had enjoyed focusing on improving guests' experience.
He said: "Having come from a branded hospitality background the past two years represent one of the best and most refreshing times of my career so far. Working in a six generation family company with real ambition, in my own town of Manchester, was a great opportunity."
He added that he had received "fantastic support" from JW Lees managing director William Lees-Jones, the company's board members, and his own team.
On the subject of his next career move, he confirmed to The Caterer that he planned to stay within pubs and restaurants. He said: "I love the industry; it still excites me and I still enjoy making the experience all about the guests. I've been fortunate to grow in my career and have always wanted to make as much impact as I can."
He added: "I am looking forward to the next challenge and will take the necessary time to consider a number of options."
A spokesperson for JW Lees stated: "Kieran Rabbitt has decided to leave JW Lees to pursue a career outside of the company. [He] has made a great impact on our business, focusing on the guest experience and implementing a wide range of initiatives that have grown our business in like-for-like sales and profit terms. Kieran has attracted a high calibre of people to JW Lees who enjoy our values and form the bedrock of our future success. We wish Kieran well and thank him for his hard work, contribution and enthusiasm."
Originally founded in 1828, JW Lees is a family-run Manchester-based brewery company, with a portfolio of 35 managed pubs, inns and hotels, and another 142 tied pubs to self-employed tenants.