Diana Hunter, CEO of Conviviality, has resigned with immediate effect following a tough few weeks for the company.
Hunter, who has overseen the huge expansion of the Conviviality business in recent years, including the acquisitions of Bibendum and Matthew Clark, quit after a number of seismic shocks to the company.
These, including a profit warning and a revelation that Conviviality had failed to account for a £30m tax bill, led to the suspension of trading in the company’s shares and, according to reports in The Times, the shrinking of its market value from £567m to £200m.
Hunter has been replaced by company chairman David Adams, who becomes executive chairman in the interim as the search for a new CEO begins. Hunter will stay on temporarily to provide ‘transition support’.
Adams thanked Hunter for her ‘vision, drive and market understanding’.
‘We’re a profitable business, with the very best route to market in the UK – and our suppliers, franchisees, producers and customers know this,’ he said. ‘We’re very grateful to have so many people across the industry stand by our side and rally around us as we overcome this short-term challenge.’
Conviviality is now likely to seek to raise cash from investors, either through the placement of new shares, or through a rights issue.