Grab-and-go sushi offering Wasabi has appointed Henry Birts as its new CEO.
Previously at Yum! Brands Birts was involved in the turnaround of Pizza Hut under private equity ownership. This year Wasabi secured investment from Capdesia to support the expansion of its UK and US portfolios. It followed a £30m investment from HSBC announced in March 2018.
Dong Hyun Kim, who founded Wasabi in 2003, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Henry to the team. Wasabi has come a long way since our Camden days, and Henry has the right experience and knowledge to lead us to the next stage of growth so we can continue to make the best sushi and bento accessible to everyone.”
Birts said: “I am very excited to be getting on board with such a vibrant brand, strong business and great team. Kim and his colleagues have built a hugely impressive business over the last 16 years and have shown the strength of the brand through continued growth and delivery even against the backdrop of recent challenges within the industry.
"This is a business that is well placed to grow in an exciting and expanding sector of the market. There are many exciting growth opportunities ahead and I feel very privileged to be joining the team for the next phase of their journey.”
Birts will join the company on 29 November. Wasabi has also grown its leadership team with the appointment of two new directors to lead operations and marketing.
Wasabi's managing director Frederic Lluch left the company earlier this year.