June 20, 2019 / 3:03 PM / 3 months ago

UK's Domino's eyes Europe chief of Aussie Domino's as next CEO: Sky News

(This June story corrects throughout to say UK’s Domino’s to replace its CEO with Europe CEO of Australia’s Domino’s Pizza Enterprises)

FILE PHOTO: A Domino's Pizza sign sits on the top of a delivery car outside a restaurant in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

(Reuters) - Domino’s Pizza Group Plc is looking to replace Chief Executive Officer David Wild with Andrew Rennie, the head of the European business at Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, Sky News reported on Thursday, sending Domino’s Pizza Group shares as much as 12% higher.

Andrew Rennie, chief executive for Europe at Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, which is a separate listed entity in Australia, has emerged as the frontrunner for the top job, the report said.

Shares of the company closed 10.5% higher at 278.1 pence and had its best day in over 3.5 years.

Domino’s declined to comment on the report.

The company was already considering a succession plan to replace three senior board members, including Chairman Stephen Hemsley and CEO Wild, Britain’s biggest pizza delivery firm’s annual report showed in May.

The changes follow the Financial Reporting Council’s revised corporate code that emphasizes the need for boards to refresh themselves, become diverse and plan properly for replacing top jobs.

The company’s spokesperson had said in May that the Board has held internal discussions about succession planning for the chairman and CEO.

Rennie’s tryst with Domino’s began in 1994 after he purchased a franchise store which grew to 13. Rennie then merged his stores with Domino’s in 2004.

He headed Domino's Pizza Enterprises' business in France and Belgium for four years and is credited with expanding the brand to 200 stores from 93, making it the largest pizza company in the country, according to the Australian business' website here . Since 2013, Rennie has been the company's European business head.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur

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