Domino’s Pizza Group has appointed one of its board directors as interim chief executive to take over from outgoing boss Dominic Paul before he leaves at the end of the year.
The UK pizza delivery chain said non-executive director Elias Diaz Sese will take on the role from October 10, working closely with Mr Paul to allow a “smooth transition” while it continues the search for a permanent chief executive.
The appointment comes after Mr Paul recently announced plans to leave in December to head up Premier Inn owner Whitbread.
Elias has a deep understanding of the Domino’s business, has built strong relationships with the management team and franchisees and holds a significant personal shareholding in the group
Mr Diaz Sese has been on the Domino’s board since October 2019 and he has previously held senior roles within global consumer food brands and franchise businesses, including as chief executive of Canadian fast food restaurant chain Tim Hortons and president across Asia Pacific for Burger King.
Matt Shattock, chairman of Domino’s, said: “Elias is very familiar with our sector given that he has held leadership roles in a number of major consumer food brands and has experience of being a franchisee himself.
“Elias has a deep understanding of the Domino’s business, has built strong relationships with the management team and franchisees and holds a significant personal shareholding in the group.
“He is committed and will focus on the continued effective and rapid execution of Domino’s strategy while giving the board time to ensure we find the right permanent CEO.”
Domino’s ended a long-running dispute with its franchise partners last December, agreeing to invest £20 million over the next three years, with franchise owners agreeing to increase the speed of new store openings.
It also recently completed an exit from all directly operated international markets to focus on the UK and Ireland.
Half-year figures for the group last month showed a 16.3% drop in underlying pre-tax profitsto £50.9 million for the six months to June 26.
This was in spite of moves to offset rising ingredient prices and other cost pressures, including the launch in March of a delivery fee of between 99p and £2.50.
The company said it increased prices for its franchisees but this was on a “lagged basis”, meaning that the full benefit will not be felt until the final six months of the year.
Mr Diaz Sese said: “For the past three years I’ve worked closely with the board and management team to create the current strategy, which I firmly believe is the right one to drive Domino’s future growth, and which I’m committed to executing at pace.”