Mitchells & Butlers has confirmed the departure of its interim CEO, Jeremy Blood.

The UK pub group said yesterday (27 October) that Blood has stepped down as both CEO and as a director. He will remain with the business "for a short period to ensure an effective handover", Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) said.

Blood's departure was expected following the breakdown of takeover interest in M&B from Piedmont, the finance vehicle run by Joe Lewis that already owns 22.8% of the pub firm. 

Separately, M&B said yesterday that its inerim chairman, Bob Ivell, will take on the role of executive chairman, with immediate effect. Ivell will lead the hunt for a new CEO and will lose his executive powers once a new CEO is in place.  

Ivell praised Blood's work at the firm: "The board and I would like to thank Jeremy for his contribution to the business since he joined the board in January 2010." Blood said: "This is a good time for me to step down from the board enabling me to resume my other business interests."  

Speculation will now fall on who might replace Blood. John Dunsmore, who recently announced his departure from the CEO role at C&C Group, has been linked to M&B in the past.