Domino's Pizza chairman to step down, as company hunts for new CEO and chairman

Domino's Pizza Group confirmed on Tuesday that its chairman Stephen Hemsley will be stepping down from the board with effect from 29 December. The latest development comes four months after Domino's announced the retirement of its chief executive officer.

The company said that senior independent director Ian Bull will take over the role on an interim basis. Domino's has been trying to reshape its board room for quite some time and the recent announcement are a clear indication that the company has some major plans to realign its products and restrategise its businesses.

End of a long relationship

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Hemsley's exit definitely comes as a surprise. He has been with Domino's since 1998 and played a major role during the company's IPO on Aim, taking it from a market capitalization of $33 million to almost $2 billion.

He was appointed the non-executive chairman of the pizza delivery chain in March 2010. Since then he has been serving as the non-executive chairman. The new move follows the entry of activist investor Browning West, who was inducted in the board to help the company find a new chairman and chief executive officer.

"It has been a privilege to play a part in the growth of Domino's to the brand it has become today, working alongside our talented colleagues and franchisees. After 21 years in the business, now is the right time for me to step back and focus on other interests. Domino's is well-positioned for future growth, and I wish it every success in the future," Hemsley said.

Domino's struggle continues

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Domino's Pizza Group is a franchise of the U.S.-based Domino's Pizza Inc. The company has been long struggling to control costs. So much so that it has already decided to exit four of its loss-making international operations.

Domino's has also been trying to restrategise its businesses for a while now and Hemsley ouster, preceded by the exit of chief executive officer David Wild, is a move in that regard.

Wild retired in August after the company announced that it was looking to replace its chairman and chief executive officer following the Financial Reporting Council's revised corporate code that stressed on the need for boards to refresh themselves.

"The search for a new chairman is progressing, and will be followed by the appointment of a new CEO," Domino's said in a statement. The company in October hired headhunter Heidrick & Struggles to look for a new chairman, which is still on.