Domino's Pizza Shares Sliced As Boss Quits
(Sky News (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge)
Domino's Pizza's share price dropped more than 9% in early Friday trading after it confirmed that chief executive Lance Batchelor would leave next year.
The company was already due to make a trading statement on Friday, December 13.
Its share price has eased around a third in the last year.
"Lance has been offered a new role in a significant private equity backed company and as a result has tendered his resignation," Domino's chairman Stephen Hemsley said in a statement.
"His new company operates in a non-competing sector."
Domino's said Mr Batchelor would stay with the firm until April 30 and added that it had begun the search for a replacement.
The negative investor sentiment to Mr Batchelor's departure shows how much the market has placed on his leadership at the company.
Domino's has had a string of successes since the recession as cost-conscious consumers moved from dining out at restaurants to eating takeaways at home.
It has also embraced online ordering technology, with more than 55% of all orders last year being made through the internet.
It said that in 2012 one-in-five orders was made on a mobile device - double the rate in the previous year.
Domino's full-year results to the end of 2013 are expected to show an even greater mobile device ordering take up.
It sold 61 million pizzas in 2012 and opened a record 69 stores.
London-listed Domino's now operates more than 800 stores and operates and franchises outlets in several other countries, including Ireland, Germany and Switzerland.
Related StoryDoubling Of Mobile Device Orders For Domino's
(c) Sky News 2013
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