Compass is expected to announce more high-level exits from the company as part of its radical strategic review, Caterer has learnt.
According to senior industry sources, executive director of business and industry Chris Copner (above), executive director of finance David Mortimer and head of national accounts John Bennett are all set to depart.
The news follows last month's exclusive announcement to Caterer that executive director of specialist markets Trevor Briggs, Restaurant Associates (RA) managing director Phillip Nash and sales and marketing director Mike Oldfield are leaving the group.
According to one source, Bennett has already lined up a job at caterer BaxterStorey after turning down Nash's former role at Compass.
Several sources said Nash had originally been made redundant but had negotiated a retirement package when Bennett turned down the RA job and Compass was forced to rethink its plans.
A Compass spokesman refused to comment on the reports, while BaxterStorey chief executive Alastair Storey denied a deal with Bennett had been tied up.
In last month's interview with Caterer, Compass Group UK and Ireland chief executive Ian El-Mokadem said the restructure would give clients more clarity in the marketplace.
However, the news of further departures has been met with a mixed reaction in the industry.
Food service consultant Peter Pitham said it was a sad day for contract catering. "It's a big clearout and unfortunately a lot of experience and knowledge will disappear from the industry," he said.
Another industry source agreed but said some change was inevitable. "There is a feeling the company is chucking too much knowledge away in one go. But maybe that is how you make change - Compass has been locked into a certain way of working for a long time."
Food service consultant Chris Stern suggested more practical reasons for the latest exits. "These are very experienced people but they are also very expensive people," he said.
By Tom Bill
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