Duncan Ackery takes over Couture after founder Marc Warde leaves the company

28 February 2012 by
Duncan Ackery takes over Couture after founder Marc Warde leaves the company

Duncan Ackery, former chief executive at Searcys, has taken over at the top at contract caterer Couture, after its founder Marc Warde left the business to join Graysons.

Warde, who set up the business in 2006, gave up his managing director position in pursuit of "pastures new" at the end of last year before being appointed business development director at contract caterer Graysons.

Meanwhile Ackery, who left his role at Searcys by mutual consent, has returned to an operational capacity as chief executive of Couture.

"I'm an operator at heart; I always have been," he said. "Jobs running businesses are few and far between and the opportunity at Couture was one I liked the look of."

Ackery, who took over officially in January, described Couture as a business with some very good contracts that has had a tough time financially over the last few years.

Commenting on his focus for the next 12 months, he added: "It's not about new business wins, but applying decent business discipline into the business.

"There had been a lot of time spent on the search for new contracts which wasn't fruitful. It had distracted the management team from the core job of running great businesses."

As well as both Pinetree and Elstree Studios, Couture also counts Ogilvy, Manchester Museum and the People's History Museum among its clients list.

Warde's new role at Graysons sees him tasked with setting up a new division dedicated to venues and cultural and visitor attractions.

He said: "I left to pursue pastures new. I was asked to be chairman of Couture but I felt it would take away my ability to lead the company as I wished it to be led therefore I sought alternative employment.

"I love what I'm doing now. It's great to be working with caterers that really understand the business. I'm really well supported and it's been lovely actually. It was a big decision for me to leave my own business, but I felt I wanted to work with other caterers. I wish Duncan every success."

Searcys chief executive leaves business in shock departure >>

The secrets of Couture's success >>

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

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