Pizza Express chief executive Mark Angela has left the business.
Angela has led the company, part of Byron and Zizzi owner Gondola Holdings, for four years during which time the company has concentrated in UK expansion, opening 80 sites and introducing a new "next generation" format last year.
His departure was announced internally at the company earlier this week.
A spokesman for the company said: "The parting is entirely amicable. Mark has done a great job in his four years running Pizza Express. He leaves the company in rude health."
Gondola's chief executive Harvey Smyth will take up Angela's role in the interim. It is not clear at this stage whether or not the company will be looking for a replacement for Angela.
Smyth is reported to want to grow the Pizza Express brand overseas. Quoted in the Times he said: ""We're entering a new phase of growth and we decided, between Mark and I, that it was time for a change."
He also confirmed to the paper that Gondola, controlled by the private equity firm Cinven, has begun talks with banks over refinancing its debt facility which expires in 2013 but denied that the move would prompt the company to sell any of its brands.
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