Just Eat chief executive Peter Plumb makes surprise exit

The Just Eat chief executive, Peter Plumb, is stepping down with immediate effect, just 16 months after he joined the British takeaway ordering website and launched an investment drive that slowed earnings growth.

Plumb, who joined from MoneySavingExpert.com on a base salary of £695,000, upgraded Just Eat’s technology and launched its own delivery service to address intensifying competition from Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

But the new strategy demanded more and more investment, causing earnings momentum to slow sharply.

Its shares, which have fallen 18% in the past 12 months, were down 2% at 646p in early Monday trading.

Just Eat shareholder Cat Rock Capital Management last month said the company should consider selling businesses such as its stake in Brazilian market leader iFood.

Plumb said it was the right time to step aside and make way for the next wave of growth.

Just Eat said its chief customer officer, Peter Duffy, had been appointed as interim chief executive and a search for permanent replacement had begun.

“Peter Duffy and the senior leadership team will continue to drive the execution of our strategy, which has the full backing of the board,” the chairman, Mike Evans, said.

Just Eat also said it expected to report 2018 revenue of about £780m and underlying core earnings between £172m and £174m, both slightly ahead of analysts’ consensus forecast.

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