Struggling Richoux restaurant owner Gourmet Holdings has axed its management team and replaced it with two former Ask Restaurant directors.
Gourmet, which completed the sale of the Bel and the Dragon to Ultimate Leisure in June, has with immediate effect replaced managing director Andrew Guy, chairman Richard Scott and Nigel Whitaker, a non executive director.
Scott relinquishes his board position but will remain as a consultant at the company until the end of the year.
In an attempt to turn around the restaurant operator, which posted record second half losses in March, Salvatore Diliberto, 67, has joined as chief executive.
A former City Hotels operations manager, Diliberto has worked for City Centre Restaurants (now The Restaurant Group) and was managing director of Ask Restaurants from 1994 to 2004.
Completing the new management line up is Neil Martin Blows, 45, as chairman and James Rhodes, 38, as non executive director.
Blows was a director of Ask Restaurants until March of this year and since 2003 held the position of chief operating officer there. Rhodes has worked at LMS Capital, one of Gourmet's major investors, since 2004.
Scott said: "The board has deliberated fully on the best way to maximise value for shareholders and concluded that the appointment of a management team to expand and develop the Richoux brand and develop alternative concepts to exploit the café/patisserie market is the best way forward."
By Chris Druce