First Leisure directors ousted after warning

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The Independent Online
Michael Grade, the former head of Channel 4, yesterday announced a big management shake up at First Leisure less than a month after taking up his new job as executive chairman at the leisure group.

The news also accompanied a shock warning that its bingo division was expected to make a loss of pounds 2.6m in the current financial year. It announced yesterday that the division had slumped pounds 1.3m into the red in the six months to April.

Nick Tamblyn, the director responsible for First Leisure's bingo business and four other top bingo executives have gone in the management cull.

The restructuring of the bingo division will cost pounds 2.4m, including pay-offs for Mr Tamblyn as well as for John Conlan, former group chief executive who left last month, which have yet to be disclosed.

Mike Payne, a director, will be in charge of all of operating divisions. "We needed to make some changes. I have cleared the lines of command. But the business still needs an awful lot of fine-tuning," said Mr Grade.

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