CH&CO restructures for continued growth

12th February 2020

Independent catering and hospitality business, CH&CO, has announced an operational restructure, including a series of senior level promotions, to strengthen the leadership team as it enters its next phase of growth.

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The progressive move follows a successful 2019 that delivered a strong financial performance, driven by organic growth and the integration of Gather & Gather and Company of Cooks into the CH&CO family.

The reorganisation leverages CH&CO’s significant expertise and impressive client portfolios in its core operating arenas. With immediate effect, CH&CO’s structure and focus has been aligned to support the following five key business sectors: Workplace, Education & Healthcare, Events, Venues and Destinations.

The revised operational structure has created promotion opportunities across the sectors, supporting CH&CO’s commitment to continually developing its people and their careers. A talented team of business leaders and sector experts has been appointed to drive continued growth and success.

Allister Richards, previously the managing director of Gather & Gather UK & Ireland, moves into the new role of Chief Operating Officer for the group, with responsibility for Workplace, Events and Venues in the UK and Ireland. Allister is highly respected for his award-winning success in creating and developing the Gather & Gather brand and his promotion reflects this. His expertise, together with his industry knowledge, strong reputation and excellent client relationships add great value to the business and will be instrumental in CH&CO’s growth strategy for 2020 and into the future.

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The new managing director of Gather & Gather UK & Creativevents is Rob Fredrickson, who has been promoted from managing director of Gather & Gather London & Creativevents. Meanwhile, Matt Symonds’ role as managing director for CH&CO Workplaces outside of London has been expanded to include Scotland and the Inspire business. Kevin Simpson has been appointed the new managing director of Inspire as David Pease and Lorna McFarlane step back from the business following the completion of the successful integration of Inspire into CH&CO.

Rob and Matt will report into Allister, together with CH&CO’s London Workplace operations team and Pauline Cox, who continues to drive growth in Ireland as managing director of Gather & Gather Ireland.

In the Events & Venues arena, Carly Mitchell will continue to lead CH&CO’s event businesses, Ultimate Experience and Create, working closely with Rob Frederickson. CH&CO Venues has a new managing director, Katy Thompson, who has been recognised for her instrumental role in the growth of the venues business and notably the launch of eve, CH&CO’s market-leading full-service venue and events solution. Peter Martin, the managing director of CH&CO’s Livery business will now report into Katy, with both Carly and Katy reporting into Allister Richards.

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Bill Toner, CH&CO’s CEO, will retain direct responsibility for the Education & Healthcare business, which will be led by Deborah Homshaw, who’s managing director role has grown to now include Independent and State schools, as well as healthcare. Bill will also continue to oversee the Destinations business, which will be led by Mike Lucy, the founder of Company of Cooks.

CH&CO’s group-wide support functions have also been strengthened to drive its growth strategy, integration and business improvement. Madeleine Musselwhite, executive director M&A, Terry Waldron, executive director central resources, Nick Thomas, CFO and Nick Clegg, Group sales director, will lead their combined functions centrally to ensure the operations teams are continually supported with the right systems, processes and procedures to deliver on the business objectives.

Bill Toner comments: “2019 was a year of significant growth for CH&CO. Organic growth and merger and acquisitions have taken our team to more than 10,000 people and we’re well placed to realise a turnover of £500million by the end of 2020. Our reorganisation is an important part of our strategy to reach this milestone. Following extensive discussions with our leadership team and listening to valuable feedback from clients and consultants, continued focus on market leadership in our core sectors is key to ongoing success. There are fantastic growth opportunities across our sectors and geographical areas and the new structure puts us in a good place to realise these.

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“The continued success of CH&CO is down to the amazing strength, talent and passion of our teams. It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to recognise this with so many promotions. Each one is absolutely deserved, and I look forward to working with the new leadership team as we continue to drive our dynamic and diverse company forward along with our commitment to deliver memorable food and service experiences for our clients and customers.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to show my gratitude and respect to the business leaders that have been instrumental in CH&CO’s incredible success but have decided that the time is right to hand the reins over to the excellent talent they have helped develop. My thanks and best wishes to David Pease and Lorna McFarlane. It’s been a pleasure to work with them and I wish them the very best in their next chapters.”


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