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Comptoir Group appoints new non-executive chair

Comptoir Group, which operates the Comptoir Libanais, Yalla-Yalla, and Shawa brands, has appointed a new non-executive chair after the sudden departure of Dr. Beatrice Lafon.

Jean-Michel Orieux, who has served as a non-executive director of the Lebanese, Middle Eastern, and North African restaurant group since August 2022, is succeeding Dr. Beatrice Lafon as chair. Dr. Lafon has resigned from Comptoir Group after less than two years to 'pursue other business interests.'

Orieux formerly served as the director of food and beverage at Liberty department store in London’s Carnaby area. He later held positions as chief executive of Ping Pong and then as chief executive of the French bakery chain Paul.

Meanwhile, Ali Aneizi, who previously held the role of corporate finance partner and co-head of leisure and hospitality at RSM for 18 years, before founding the M&A and private equity advisory firm Tamweel Capital in 2013, has joined Comptoir as a non-executive director.

Nick Ayerst, chief executive of Comptoir Group and former managing director of Leon, said: “I would like to thank Beatrice for her considerable contribution to Comptoir during an important period of evolution for the Group, and especially for her role in the rebuilding of key business foundations which suffered during Covid, the development of our current strategy and the recruitment and induction of our new senior management team. On behalf of the Comptoir team, I would like to wish Beatrice every success in her other ventures.

He added: “I am delighted that Ali will be joining our board. He brings extensive professional expertise and deep industry knowledge having worked in the sector for many years, he will add real value to the future direction of the company.”

Orieux said: “The board and Comptoir team sincerely thank Beatrice for her leadership, challenge and contribution as chair these past two years. Her vision and dedication were instrumental in shaping our business transformation and we have full confidence in her continued success.

“Having worked closely with Beatrice in the last two years, I am confident that the business will transfer smoothly to the change of chair and new board composition.”

In September last year, the group launched its first venue in four years in London’s Ealing.

Comptoir Group owns and manages 29 Lebanese restaurants, with six operating under franchise. Comptoir Libanais is its largest brand, with 20 establishments spread across London, Manchester, Bath, Birmingham, Oxford, and Exeter.