Burke leaves M&B after just five months
FORMER Superquinn boss Simon Burke has stepped down as non-executive chairman of UK pub chain Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) after just five months in the job.
The surprise move marks the third change of guard at the business in 18 months and the sixth in three years.
A spokeswoman for M&B, in which Irish horseracing tycoons JP McManus and John Magnier own a combined 20pc stake, said Mr Burke's decision to leave the company was "completely his" and there was "nothing behind it".
However, it's been speculated that Mr Burke was frustrated during his brief tenure as chairman because he was somewhat limited in terms of implementing the type of strategy he wanted to see at the group. Mr Burke originally joined M&B as a non-executive board member in January 2010 and was appointed deputy chairman at the time.
As chairman, a role he took up last February, he had also been spearheading the search for a new chief executive for the company.
That search continues and the spokeswoman said there is no certainty over when an appointment might be announced. Mr Burke is also chairman of UK-based Hobbycraft and a member of the BBC executive board.
M&B, which operates 1,500 pubs, has endured a torrid three years. In early 2009, the business revealed a £500m (€570m) loss due to a failed derivatives bet, undertaken at the behest of London-based property investor Robert Tchenguiz.