Domino's Pizza lines up Tesco boss for top post

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The Independent Online

The pizza retailer Domino's Pizza UK has appointed Lance Batchelor, the head of Tesco Mobile, to be its next chief executive.

Mr Batchelor is expected to take the role of chief executive-designate at Domino's Pizza UK sometime after March. After about six months in the role, he will then formally become chief executive once the incumbent, Chris Moore, retires around the end of 2011 after more than 20 years at the company.

Tesco this week confirmed Mr Batchelor will leave at the end of February to pursue "an amazing, brilliant opportunity for himself", but did not provide further details.

Mr Batchelor, who became a non-executive director at Domino's Pizza UK last July, first joined Tesco in 2007 as marketing director. Tesco Mobile is a joint venture with O2. His appointment will mark the end of an era for Chris Moore, Domino's Pizza UK's highly regarded chief executive, who joined the company in 1990 as its European marketing manager. Mr Moore has overseen a surge in Domino's Pizza UK's share price, profits and sales since he took the helm in 2008. He owns a huge stake of about 2.5 million shares in the food company.

The pizza company and Mr Batchelor yesterday declined to comment. Domino's Pizza UK and Ireland saw sales surge 18 per cent to £133m for the 13 weeks to 26 December and said it would deliver full-year profits ahead of forecasts.