Cineworld founder and CEO Steve Wiener to leave after 18 years
Cinema operator Cineworld Group said its chief executive and founder is to step down in March after 18 years with the business to "enjoy the fruits of his success".
Steve Wiener, who has been in the cinema industry for 44 years, left his job as Managing Director of Warner Bros Europe to set up the business in 1995, growing it to a chain of 34 before it was bought by private equity group Blackstone in 2004.
After a big acquisition of a rival operator, Cineworld floated on the stock exchange in 2007 and now runs around 80 sites, including four out of the 10 highest grossing cinemas in the UK and Ireland.
The company also owns 21 more cinemas under the Picturehouse brand, which it bought last year.
"In 1995 my wife Jenny and I wrote a business plan to start a cinema company. We expected over a five year period to open five-seven multiplex cinemas and sell it on to one of the big operators," Wiener said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Today Cineworld is the number one cinema chain in the UK and has been for more than three years."
Wiener will leave the business on March 31, Cineworld said, adding an announcement on his successor would follow later.
Shares in the firm, which have risen by half on a year ago, were flat in early trading at 372 pence.