Reports are circulating that Stuart Gillies has left the Gordon Ramsay Group after more than 15 years with the company.
Gillies had been appointed CEO in 2016 having held the position of managing director since 2011.
The Caterer contacted the former chef on Tuesday after several sources reported his departure, but he denied the claims.
Our sources have said that managing director Andy Wenlock is expected to be promoted to CEO, but the Gordon Ramsay Group has not responded to requests for comment.
The Gordon Ramsay Group last year announced a return to profit for the first time since 2012. Profit after tax was recorded as £739,000, up from a £2m loss the previous year.
The departure of Gillies would mark the end of a long friendship and working relationship dating back nearly 30 years with the man who eventually became his boss. Gillies and Ramsay first met when they were young commis chefs in London. "I was at the Royal Garden and Gordon was at the Mayfair InterContinental and we used to socialise together," Gillies told The Caterer in an interview in 2014.
While Ramsay went on to work under Marco Pierre White at Harveys, Gillies preferred to travel, working in Rome and Sweden, and backpacking in South America, before working for Daniel Boulud in New York.
Periods at Le Caprice and Teatro followed, before he rejoined Ramsay to help open Angela Hartnett's restaurant at the Connaught in 2002.
Gillies then went on to open Boxwood Café for the company in 2003, and ran it until it closed in April 2010, as well as Plane Food in Heathrow Terminal 5, and the Savoy Grill.
Ten years after he joined Gordon Ramsay Holdings (now Gordon Ramsay Group) he was made managing director of the company and has headed the openings of both Bread Street Kitchen in One New Change in London and Union Street Café near Borough Market. He was promoted to chief executive in 2016 to focus on the group's strategic growth while developing the brand's culture.
Gillies has remained by Ramsay's side during some difficult times for the company, including the imprisonment last year of Chris Hutcheson, Ramsay's father-in-law and former chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Holdings, after he admitted conspiracy to hack the chef's computer systems. Prior to Gillies's appointment as managing director, the company came under intense scrutiny following allegations regarding its tax affairs.
Gillies said in the 2014 interview: "In the historic running of the company there were some questionable decisions made by the senior management team, but that has been highlighted and we have held our hands up to it.
"There is some history that casts a shadow on us as a company. However, we are a new management team, we operate differently now, and we would say the same to HMRC or anyone."
Headed by the three-Michelin-star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, the international portfolio of Gordon Ramsay restaurants numbers 31.
Gillies and Ramsay were together in October as the group's apprentices in London celebrated their graduation (see picture).
In 2015 The Telegraph reported that Ramsay had rewarded Gillies with £2.7m in shares. He was said to have received half immediately with the remaining shares able to be cashed after five years.
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