Domino’s Pizza commences hunt for new chairman and chief executive

Domino’s Pizza is preparing for change at the top of the takeaway chain as it considers a future without its chief executive and chairman amid an escalating row with franchisees.

The group said it is “considering succession planning” for chairman Stephen Hemsley and David Wild, the firm’s chief executive.

In addition, the firm is searching for a replacement for non-executive director Helen Keays.

The revelations were contained in the company’s annual report, which was published last week, and Domino’s added in a statement on Tuesday: “As you would expect the board has held internal discussions about succession planning for the chairman and CEO.

“We are not going to speculate on the outcome of any board changes, and will update the market as and when there are any developments.”

Domino’s added that it is extending Mr Hemsley’s term by another year “to facilitate orderly succession planning”.

It comes as Domino’s is working to resolve a dispute with disgruntled store operators, who have set up a group called Domino’s Franchise Association UK & Ireland, demanding more support from the company in the face of rising costs.

They also say Domino’s has asked them to open stores in existing locations, which they claim is affecting their profits.

As a result of the dispute, the pizza delivery company said that while its pipeline of new stores is set to hold firm in 2019, the actual number of openings is likely to be lower given “ongoing franchisee discussions”.

Full-year results, released earlier this month, saw the firm book a 22% plunge in annual pre-tax profits to £61.9 million.

Shares have also come under pressure, dropping by nearly 30% this year.

They were trading more than 3% higher on Tuesday at 240.9p.