Wahhab given leave to seek new venture

04 December 2002 by
Wahhab given leave to seek new venture

A boardroom shake-up at London's Cinnamon Club has seen its founder, Iqbal Wahhab, step down as managing director, but retain his marketing and PR role.

Former finance director John Turner has taken over as managing director of the 200-seat restaurant and members' bar.

One source at the restaurant said the board had forced Wahhab to resign because it wasn't happy with his management of the business.

Wahhab denied this and said turnover was expected to rise in the restaurant's second year of trading from £3m to £4m.

He added: "We've exceeded expectations. If that wasn't the case, I wouldn't be stepping aside. The board has given me the OK to look at other independent commercial opportunities."

Wahhab has plans to open bars in London.

Investors pulled out of initial plans for a restaurant in Kensington after Wahhab, then editor-in-chief of Tandoori magazine, published a disparaging article about the quality of Indian restaurants in 1998. It then took some time to get a £1m bank loan and nearly £2m of private investment for the Cinnamon Club venture.

Turner said: "Now that we have stabilised our position and established such a strong reputation, we realise that Iqbal will want to undertake other projects."

by Ben Walker

Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 7-13 November 2002

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