Mitchells & Butlers has been without a CEO since October last year

Mitchells & Butlers has been without a CEO since October last year

Mitchells & Butlers' year-long search for a CEO has ended after the UK restaurant and pub operator appointed former Marston's executive Alistair Darby.

Darby will replace Bob Ivell, who returns to his role as non-executive chairman after a short handover period, a Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) spokesperson told just-drinks today (10 September). Darby will start on October 8.

M&B has been without a CEO since Jeremy Blood stepped down as interim boss in October last year. He replaced Adam Fowle, who left “by mutual consent” in March last year. Ivell, previously a non-executive director, became non-executive chairman in May last year and executive chairman two months later.

Darby was CCO of Marston’s, where he had been on the board since February 2003. He has held roles with Mars Confectionery, Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries and United Distillers.

In May, M&B saw H1 profits drop slightly. The company blamed inflationary and regulatory cost pressures.

In September last year, the company rejected a takeover bid from Piedmont Inc.