Just Eat chief executive Peter Plumb leaves food delivery firm

Just Eat has announced that chief executive Peter Plumb is to step down from the online takeaway firm with immediate effect.

Chief customer officer Peter Duffy will take the role of interim boss as the search for a permanent replacement gets under way.

The group did not give a reason for Mr Plumb’s abrupt departure; however, it is understood that the board wants a fresh face to lead Just Eat as it faces rising competition.

Mr Plumb’s departure comes only weeks after Just Eat was described by one of its shareholders as the worst-performing online food firm in the world as it called for a radical shake-up.

Cat Rock Capital, which owns 2% of the firm, urged Just Eat’s board to “address key issues” and sell off non-core assets, such as its interest in the iFood business in Brazil and other non-European businesses.

Just Eat chairman Mike Evans said: “The board would like to thank Peter Plumb for setting Just Eat on a new course which better places it to address a much larger and rapidly expanding market. We wish him well for the future.

“Peter Duffy and the senior leadership team will continue to drive the execution of our strategy, which has the full backing of the board.”

Just Eat is desperately attempting to keep up with Deliveroo and Uber, firms that have been muscling in on its territory of late.

Speculation that Uber is in early talks to buy rival Deliveroo has also recently hit Just Eat’s shares.

Mr Plumb said: “2018 was another year of strong growth for the group. The business is in good health, and now is the right time for me to step aside and make way for a new leader for the next exciting wave of growth.”

In a trading update alongside the announcement, Just Eat said that trading in 2018 had come in ahead of expectations.

It now anticipates reporting full-year 2018 orders of 221 million, revenue of around £780 million and underlying earnings in the range of £172 million to 174 million.

For the full financial year, Just Eat expects to report revenue in the range of £1 billion to £1.1 billion and underlying earnings – excluding Brazil and Mexico – in the range of £185 million to £205 million.