Greek executive Giorgios Argentopoulos, a former general manager of Baneasa Developments, the company that owns the Baneasa Shopping City mall in Bucharest, will replace American Mark Hilton as CEO of Sphera Franchise Group, one of the biggest restaurant groups in Romania.
Hilton has been CEO and member of the board of Sphera Franchise Group since May 2017 and prepared the company’s listing on the Bucharest Stock Exchange that year. Before that, he had managed, since 2011, the local companies that owned the KFC and Pizza Hut franchises in Romania, which were later merged into Sphera Franchise Group.
In the last nine years, Sphera Franchise Group has expanded its restaurant network from 61 to 138 units and increased its consolidated sales almost fourfold, to RON 771 million (EUR 165 million). The company launched its first KFC restaurants in Italy and brought the Taco Bell brand to Romania in this period.
Giorgios Argentopoulos will start in his new role from May 1, 2019. He came to Romania in July 2001, as operational manager of telecom group Romtelecom (now Telekom Romania) and in 2007 he took over as CEO of the group of real estate companies controlled by Romanian investor Gabriel Popoviciu, which includes Baneasa Developments, Baneasa Investments, Baneasa Business, and Technology Park, and others. He stepped down as CEO in June 2017 but remained Chairman of Baneasa Developments and other firms in the group, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Sphera Franchise Group is controlled by three Romanian investors, Lucian Vlad, Radu Dimofte, and Nicolae Badea, former business partners of Gabriel Popoviciu.
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