Chief executive at owner of Patisserie Valerie steps down

Company has been under pressure since the discovery of a financial hole

A branch of Patisserie Valerie in London. Photograph:  Reuters/Simon Dawson

A branch of Patisserie Valerie in London. Photograph: Reuters/Simon Dawson

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British cafe chain owner Patisserie Holdings said its chief executive Paul May had stepped down immediately, a second resignation after its chief financial officer quit last month following an accounting scandal.

Mr May, who had held the role since 2006, was replaced by turnaround specialist Stephen Francis, the company that owns the Patisserie Valerie chain said.

Most recently Mr Francis was chief executive of British pork producer Tulip Ltd, where he led a turnaround, according to Patisserie.

“The board looks forward to working with him in the revival of the business,” chairman Luke Johnson said.

The company, which has outlets in Dublin and Belfast, has been under pressure since an accounting black hole was discovered, and reports emerged that Mr May and former chief financial officer Chris Marsh had been issued twice the number of shares it had disclosed in official filings.

The accounting issue led to an eventual £20 million (€22.5m) cash injection by Mr Johnson to keep the company running. – Reuters

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