Cineworld founder and chief executive officer Steve Wiener is set to retire after 18 years at the helm of the cinema chain he founded in 1995.
Wiener, who owns a 1.3% stake in Cineworld worth £7 million, plans to leave in March, with an announcement on his replacement in due course.
He said: “In 1995, my wife Jenny and I wrote a business plan to start a cinema company. We expected over a five-year period to open five to seven multiplex cinemas and sell it on to one of the big operators. Today, in 2013, Cineworld is the number one cinema chain in the UK, and has been for more than three years.”
The chief executive, who is 62, has been dividing his time between Florida and London and has family in the US. He has said he will “never stop working” but wanted to stop full-time employment.
Wiener, who began his career as an usher, first moved to Europe in 1991 as managing director of Warner Bros. After going it alone to set up Cineworld, he oversaw its flotation in 2006 and expansion to a chain of 77 multiplexes.
The fourth quarter is expected to be tough for cinema after the success last year of James Bond blockbuster Skyfall. Panmure Gordon tips Cineworld’s box-office receipts to fall 10%, bringing annual admissions to 168 million — the lowest since the recession began.