Lexington Catering CEO Mike Sunley has announced he will step down at the end of the year with managing director Julia Edmonds taking over the leadership of the contract caterer.
Sunley, who launched the company in 2002 alongside Katharine Lewis and Rachel Lindner and won the 2013 Foodservice Caterer of the Year Catey, will formally step down on 31 December 2019, following a transition process.
He said: “I am so proud of what the Lexington team has achieved, from Investors in People Gold and becoming a Sunday Times Best Company to being the first contract caterer to introduce an apprenticeship scheme and the launch of our incredibly successful Lexington Reception Services business.
“It has been an absolute pleasure and a lot of fun leading Lexington over the last 17 years, working alongside some of the very best in the industry and with some truly amazing clients. Whilst I am incredibly sad to be stepping down it is absolutely the right time for Julia to take the reins and I look forward to working with her during the transition and seeing how the business evolves.”
Edmonds, who takes the helm of the Lexington and Elior City businesses, joined the caterer's executive team in 2007 as sales and marketing director, becoming managing director in 2011. She will work closely with the existing senior leadership team including recent recruits, operations director Sean Ritson and sales director Ben McEwen.
She said: “Over the years I have worked at Lexington, I have seen the many ways in which our team improve people’s working days and have a positive impact on workplace culture. It has been fantastic to work alongside Mike over the last 12 years and is a real privilege to take over from him to lead the Lexington and Elior City team.”
Lexington, which developed a reputation for prioritising people and food in its operations, was acquired by Elior in 2014. In the year to September 2018 Lexington recorded a 16.2% increase in turnover reaching £47.3m.
Catherine Roe, CEO of Elior UK, added: “I’d like to thank Mike for his contribution to the business – we have formed a close relationship and have welcomed his smart vision and unique ability to continually develop the Lexington brand. This, together with his brilliant way with people, has enabled us to successfully blend the operational and people elements of the total business to create a much stronger organisation.
“Mike has built a strong team who are well placed to ensure we continue to provide the very best food and service to clients and customers. For the last 12 years Julia has played a key role in driving Lexington’s success and I am confident that under her leadership, Lexington will prosper long into the future.”
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