Just Eat CEO Buttress Stepping Down, Shares Fall

  • David Buttress had been CEO since 2013, former head of U.K.
  • Chairman John Hughes to take on role of Executive Chairman

Just Eat Plc, the U.K.’s largest restaurant food delivery service, said its chief executive officer is stepping down due to family matters.

David Buttress will stay until the end of the first quarter and has agreed to serve as a non-executive director for one year, according to a statement Friday. Shares of Just Eat fell as much as 6.3 percent to 519 pence as of 11:46 a.m. in London.

David Buttress

Source: Just Eat Group Plc

Chairman John Hughes will take up the role of executive chairman at the end of the quarter as the board starts an immediate search for a permanent CEO.

Buttress joined Just Eat in 2006 to launch its U.K. business. Since he became CEO at the start of 2013, the company’s stock had more than doubled through Thursday compared with a 13.5 percent rise for the FTSE 250.

After years of strong growth, food orders slowed at the back end of last year amid rising competition, causing shares to slide.

“We feel these changes couldn’t come at a more challenging time for the company,” said
Neil Campling, head of global TMT research for Northern Trust Capital Markets, in a note to clients, flagging the increased competition from rivals such as Uber Inc. and Amazon Inc.

Buttress has been navigating a spate of deal-making. In December, Just Eat announced plans to buy the U.K.’s Hungryhouse.com from Delivery Hero Holding GmbH for 200 million pounds ($250 million). The same month is agreed to pay C$110 million ($83 million) for Canada’s SkipTheDishes.

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