John Conlan has been appointed chairman of Paramount Holdings, owner and operator of restaurant brands Chez Gérard, Bertorelli and Caffè Uno.
Mr Conlan is currently chairman of London Irish Holdings, owners of the London Irish Rugby Football Club and director of Kalahari, an international provider of pricing and analytics software for financial services.
Nick Basing, chief executive, said: "I am especially delighted that John has agreed to become our first executive chairman. His track record of building leisure and hospitality businesses will be a tremendous advantage."
Mr Conlan founded First Leisure in 1983 and led the company to a stockmarket capitalisation of over £500m. He has also chaired Chorion, Urbium and Barracuda.
Mr Conlan said "Paramount has a promising future under new ownership and a unique opportunity to expand its high profile quality brands across the UK. I am very much looking forward to working to realise that potential."
In September PPM Capital backed the Management Buyout of Paramount Holdings to accelerate the rollout of the Brasserie Chez Gerard concept and PPM have since opened four new Brasseries to add to their 80+ UK restaurants.
By Catherine Bennion-Pedley