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Boss and co-founder of Coffee Republic forced out in shareholder revolt

20 October 2006

Coffee Republic executive chairman Bobby Hashemi has been forced out in a shareholder coup.

He has stepped down from the coffee chain he co-founded 11 years ago with immediate effect.

Hashemi had been facing a vote of no confidence with a move to replace him led by major company shareholders, property investment company's Surthurst and Plymouth Land.

Unhappy with what they saw as the slow pace of change at the coffee-bar company, they had called for an extraordinary general meeting on 2 October, which was cancelled.

Hashemi will be replaced by Peter Breach as chairman and Steven Bartlett as chief executive, if ratified by shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on 26 October.

Bartlett, 41, is a director of Plymouth Land and Breach, 64, a director of Surthurst.

Nicholas Jeffery, senior non-executive director at Coffee Republic, said: "Having co-founded the business 11 years ago, Bobby Hashemi has selflessly agreed to step aside to facilitate these changes."

Hashemi is set to walk away with at least £150,000 in share options as part of his severance package.

The board intends to roll out its franchise model faster and look to joint ventures in the UK and overseas, as well as rolling out the automated Coffee Republic Express concept.

UK leads Europe as market for branded coffee >>

Coffee Republic stands by franchise model >>

By Chris Druce

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