Pizza Express appoints new chief executive

Pizza Express has appointed Jinlong Wang, the chairman of Pizza Express and acting chief executive of the chain’s Chinese business, as the new chief executive.

Wang will succeed Richard Hodgson, who tendered his resignation for personal reasons just two weeks after announcing plans for expansion and indicating he was planning for long-term growth.

After joining the 500-strong global pizza chain in 2013, Hodgson oversaw the group’s acquisition by Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital for £900m.

The acquisition has since enabled faster expansion in overseas markets. With Hodgson’s supervision Pizza Express expanded its global presence with the launch of new locations including China and the UAE.

Jinlong Wang has previously held a number of senior positions at Starbucks including Senior Vice President of Starbucks Corp, President of Starbucks Asia Pacific Region, Chairman and President of Starbucks Greater China Region, Head of the Law & Corporate Affairs department, and Vice President International Business Development. He started his career as a government official in the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade in China.