Greene King hires Merlin exec to replace outgoing CEO

Greene King has named a Merlin Entertainments executive as the successor to its longstanding chief executive.

Nick Mackenzie will take over from Rooney Anand at the pub company from the beginning of May.

Mr Mackenzie has been head of Merlin’s midway unit, which comprises over 100 business including Madame Tussauds and the London eye, since 2015.

He is also currently a non-executive director at pub company Daniel Thwaites, though will step down from this role before joining Greene King.

The group’s chairman Philip Yea said: “After a comprehensive search we feel that Nick’s broad experience and track record at one of the world’s leading leisure businesses as well as his knowledge of the pub business, both early in his career and more recently as a non-executive, make him the best candidate to lead Greene King through its next phase.

“We are looking forward to Nick taking up his role when Rooney steps down at the end of the current financial year.”

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Outgoing CEO Rooney Anand (PA)

Mr Mackenzie said: “Greene King is a very strong business with a great portfolio of pubs and beer brands and a real commitment to its customers, staff and shareholders.”

The appointment marks an end to months of speculation over who would succeed Mr Anand, who has been in his post since 2005. His departure was announced in November last year.

Tuesday’s announcement came a week after the group unveiled a 10.9% jump in like-for-like sales over Christmas.

It notched up another record on Christmas Day, with sales of £7.7 million, up from £7.6 million in 2017, as more Britons chose to eat out for their festive lunch.