Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) has appointed Phil Urban as its new chief executive, as Alistair Darby steps down from the role.
Urban, who will receive a basic annual salary of £510,000 in his new role, joined the restaurant, pub and bar company in January 2015 as chief operating office and was previously managing director at Grosvenor Casinos, a division of Rank Group and chairman of the National Casino Forum.
Prior to that he was managing director for Whitbread's pub restaurant division, and for Scottish and Newcastle Retail's restaurants and accommodation division.
He replaces Alistair Darby who will step down on 26 September this year and will retire from the board and leave the company.
Darby will receive a pay-out of up to £543,000 in lieu of the 52-week notice period provided for in his contract. The company said it was "not currently anticipated" that he would receive a bonus for his work in the 2014-2015 financial year because "the threshold performance targets required for any bonus to be paid will be achieved".
Bob Ivell, non-executive chairman said: "The non-executive directors have considered the issue of the leadership of M&B very carefully and are delighted to announce Phil's appointment. Phil is a strong leader with industry experience and a proven track record of operational delivery, who we are confident will build on the progress made under Alistair.
"The Board recognises the significant contribution made by Alistair as chief executive over the past three years, is grateful to him for bringing the business to a stronger position and wishes him well in the future."
Phil Urban said: "I am delighted to become chief executive. Having worked in the business since the start of the year I have seen at first hand the exciting potential of the people, brands and estate of M&B and look forward to leading the business to further growth whilst meeting the challenges ahead."
The announcement of the changes came as M&B unveiled total sales growth for the first 50 weeks of the year of 7%, with like-for-like sales growth of 1%.
It said the eating and drinking out market was "subdued" in the summer, leading to a slight slowdown in the rate of growth, exacerbated by the wet weather.
M&B said it had converted 38 of the 173 Orchid pubs it acquired last year for £266m to its brands and planned another 40 conversions, with the remainder being moved into its Heartland estate.