Gloria Jean’s chief executive leaves

Gloria Jean’s chief executive has left the business as part of a restructure, with more changes on the horizon for the coffee chain.

In a letter to Gloria Jean’s franchisees, executive chairman Nabi Saleh revealed Gareth Pike had left the business as part of changes to the chain’s leadership team.

“In this new structure the role of CEO Pacific is no longer required,” the letter says.

“As a result, Gareth Pike has decided to move on to pursue other opportunities.

“We sincerely thank him for his contribution and passion, and wish him every success in the future.”

The move follows a “strategic review” of Gloria Jean’s business and structure by the company’s board.

“We recognise that in this challenging economic climate our organisation needs to be faster, leaner and more responsive,” the letter says.

The new Gloria Jean’s structure involves a single leadership team responsible for the entire group with Mark Bilton, currently one of Gloria Jean’s non?executive directors, heading up the new leadership team as group managing director.

Bilton describes himself as a “commercially astute change catalyst” on his personal blog where he has also announced his promotion.

Keith Brown is also a beneficiary of the restructure with his appointment to chief operating officer of the group.

In the letter, Saleh promised a “more detailed plan” by August 15 which would help serve Gloria Jean’s vision of becoming “the world’s most loved and respected coffee company.”

The reshuffle follows the recent controversy which has engulfed Gloria Jean’s following accusations of homophobia as a result of its association with religious group Hillsong (co-founders Peter Irvine and Saleh are both prominent members of the church) and for a $30,000 donation to the Australian Christian Lobby, which has rallied against gay marriage.

The coffee chain was forced to release a statement apologising “for any hurt or offence” which may have been caused by the paid advertising and emphasising that Gloria Jean’s is a privately owned business and not owned by the Hillsong Church.

Two years ago the coffee chain had to reassure franchisees and customers that the business was solvent and continued to trade profitability, after a court was told Gloria Jean’s parent company Jireh Group was in “financial dire straits”.

SmartCompany contacted Gloria Jean’s spokesperson Laura Kongvongsa, but she would not provide any further information about the circumstances.

“A comprehensive review and restructure of the company is currently taking place and they expect to make an announcement in August,” she says.

*This article was updated on April 20, 2017. 


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