Dame Karen Jones to step down as executive chair of Prezzo

21 September 2022 by
Dame Karen Jones to step down as executive chair of Prezzo

Italian restaurant group Prezzo has announced that Dame Karen Jones is to step down as its executive chair after four years.

Jones, who is also chairman of the Hawksmoor and Mowgli restaurant chains, will continue to work with the 148-site restaurant brand as a special advisor.

Jonathan Goldstein, chief executive chain of investment firm Cain International, which bought Prezzo in 2020, will become non-executive chairman.

Jones' departure follows the creation of a new management team at Prezzo over the past year. It includes Dean Challenger as chief executive officer, Matt Prior as chief financial officer, Gwion Iwan as operations director, Olly Smith as chief culinary officer and Mary Waldron as people director.

Jones said: "It has been an extraordinary journey over the past four years. With the active support of our new ownership, we have curated an outstanding leadership team that is well-equipped to navigate the current challenges of the economic environment.

She added: "Prezzo is now ready to take advantage of new market opportunities and I look forward to continuing to watch the business flourish in my role as special advisor."

Goldstein said: "It has been a privilege to work alongside Karen for the last two years as we have taken the business forward and continued the development of an exceptional senior leadership team.

"I look forward to progressing our work with the team as the business continues its journey as the UK's favourite Italian."

Jones founded the Café Rouge restaurant chain in 1989 and sits on the board of Deliveroo in London.

During the pandemic she worked closely with ministers and was the only hospitality representative on the government's Build Back Better business council.

She was made a dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2022 for her services to business and the hospitality industry.

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