The Business On: Stephen Billingham, chairman-elect, Punch Taverns
Thursday 30 June 2011
Can he pull a decent pint?
That's not what Punch has in mind for Mr Billingham. It has been through difficult times of late and is planning a radical demerger this summer. It will split in two, with Punch operating as a tenanted-pub operator, while a new company, Spirit, is spun off as a managed-pub business. Mr Billingham will chair the former.
What's the difference?
Tenanted pubs are run, pretty much independently, by landlords and managed pubs are operated centrally. The former have been struggling in the post-smoking ban environment, finding it ever more difficult to compete with the chains that increasingly sell more food than drink. So Mr Billingham has his work cut out for him.
Does he know the business?
Not really; he's been hired as anumbers man. He is best known for a five-year stint as the finance director of British Energy, the nuclear power operator. He stood down in 2009 after the company was sold to France's EDF.
What's he been doing since?
Various things, including working on the financial restructuring of Connaught, the struggling outsourcing company. He's also a non-executive director at Urenco, the company which enriches uranium for the nuclear sector.
Absolutely; at least dealing with booze, crisps and nuts is a bit safer. And the Urenco role, where Mr Billingham is chairman of the audit committee, can be tricky politically too: the company is owned byseveral European governments.
What's the plan at Punch?
We shall see after the demerger. But investors will be reassured by Mr Billingham's appointment. He is credited with having been the most important hands on the tiller during the turnaround of once-struggling WS Atkins, where he was finance director before he worked with British Energy. And he'll work with Chris Bell, the former chief executive of Ladbrokes, whose appointment at Punch as a non-executive director was also announced yesterday.
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Greece debt crisis: Athens has one day to find €1.6bn
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
iJobs Money & Business
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...
Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...
Competitive (Freelance) : Guru Careers: An Investment Writer / Stock Picker is...