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Former Wagamama director to become Byron MD

Casual dining burger chain, Byron has appointed Simon Cope, the former Wagamama global marketing and property director, as managing director.

Cope joined Wagamama in 2013, and played a key role in the brand's financial turnaround, which has seen double-digit like-for-like growth for the past three years. Prior to that he was with Mitchells & Butlers where he worked for 12 years in a number of senior marketing roles, rising to marketing director.

Cope will join Byron in July and will report to acting executive chairman Dalton Philips. He will sit on the executive board and lead the next stage of the brand’s evolution, focusing on marketing, food development and property.

Andrew Manders, who was appointed chief executive at the end of 2016 following the departure of Byron’s founder Tom Byng, is to leave the business for personal reasons.

The home of 'the proper burger', Byron was founded in 2007 by CEO Tom Byng and now operates almost 70 restaurants across the UK. The upmarket burgers are made fresh from properly-sourced British beef and the best ingredients possible, and can be paired with a cold craft beer or an extra-thick shake.