Duncan Pitfield has resigned from his post as operations director for restaurant chain Hakkasan in the UK, just six months after he took up the role.
Pitfield, a winner of the Manager of the Year Catey award in 2008, had been brought on board to oversee all of the company's UK restaurants and launches.
He had joined Hakkasan from D&D, where he was senior general manager responsible for several of the group's restaurants, including the Blueprint Café and Le Pont de la Tour. He also opened D&D's Old Bengal Warehouse development in September 2012.
Hakkasan has confirmed Pitfield's departure, which is thought to be recent.
A spokeswoman said that Pitfield had "resigned to pursue alternative opportunities" but declined to make a statement or to comment further.
Pitfield was also unavailable for comment.
It closed a sixth restaurant, Chrysan, in April this year, after just six months of trading. The business, in Moorgate in the City, was a joint venture with three-Michelin-starred Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata, chef-patron of Kikunoi in Kyoto. It was intended as the first of an international brand of restaurants.
However, HKK, which sits adjacent to the former Chrysan site, on Worship Street, has enjoyed a much more successful time of it since it opened in December 2012. The restaurant was last week awarded a Michelin star, â¨following the release of the Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland 2014.
Commenting on the accolade, Didier Souillat, executive vice president of restaurants for the Hakkasan group, said: "On behalf of the Hakkasan group, chef Tong Chee Hwee and the team at HKK, I would like to express our enormous pride in having been awarded our first Michelin star for this ground-breaking restaurant.
"The recognition by the prestigious Michelin Guide so soon after we launched last December reflects a phenomenal achievement by Tong and his hard-working kitchen team in creating a unique fine-dining restaurant that pioneers Chinese haute cuisine.
"The knowledge and commitment that have been shown â¨by Tong's team, combined â¨with the quality and service style of the front of house as led by â¨general manager Mark Hastings, have guaranteed that HKK â¨offers a distinctive world-class experience."