100: Jason Leek

01 July 2010 100: Jason Leek

Overall ranking: 53

Food service ranking: 4

Jason Leek - Snapshot

Jason Leek has headed up Restaurant Associates (RA) since 2006. RA, originally imported from the USA and incorporating brands such as Roux Fine Dining, counts some of the most prestigious banks and law firms in the land as customers, as well as holding Michelin stars for its restaurant tie-ups with Gary Rhodes.

With Eurest Services now under Leek's control, he presides over Compass's engine room within a caterer that operates across a diverse range of sectors including business and industry, fine dining, education, healthcare, vending, sports and leisure, along with military, remote and offshore sites.

Jason Leek - Career guide

Leek joined Compass in 2001 as corporate development director, before being promoted to head of corporate development in early 2004. In this role he was responsible for the group's mergers and acquisitions, including leading the sale of the SSP and Moto businesses to EQT and Macquarie. Leek joined Restaurant Associates as managing director in December 2006.

Jason Leek - What we think

It seems churlish now, but at the time of his appointment to head up Restaurant Associates in 2006 a few eyebrows were raised that a man from a legal background had been put in charge of Compass's fine-dining operation.

But with a Michelin star gained at Gary Rhodes's restaurant at the Cumberland hotel in 2008, a whole host of major contract wins (Lloyds, Bloomberg, Aviva, Bank of England) and a tie-up with Michel Roux Jnr for a restaurant in Parliament Square, Westminster, Leek has most certainly answered his critics.

The figures tell their own story: pre-tax profit for the 12 months to 30 September 2009 rose 36.6% to £773m, up from £566m the previous year, with revenue up 17% to £13.4b. Sales in the UK and Ireland, which account for 13.6% of Compass's group revenues, fell 5% to £1.8b. Restaurant Associates provides the glamour and Eurest Services the lion's share of money.

Jason Leek - Further information

Jason Leek to head up merged Eurest Services and Restaurant Associates at Compass >>

Lawyer will head up new Compass >>

Compass Group website: executive team >>

Read more from the 100, the list of the most influential people, here >>

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