Paul Kennedy, the former human resources director at New Balance, has taken up the same role at Caffe Nero, the c.470-strong coffee chain. Kennedy joins the coffee chain after six years at New Balance, the footwear manufacturer. Previous to that he was human resources director at Ebookers for two years. He joins the chain, which is led and majority owned by founder Gerry Ford, at the same time as it has appointed Neil Riding, the former managing director of TGI Friday’s UK and Beefeater Restaurants, as its new managing director. Earlier this month, the group reported a 4.8% rise in underlying profits for the year to 31 May 2011. The company also reiterated that it believed there was potential in the UK market for at least 600 Caffe Nero stores and plans to open approximately 50 sites over the next year. It expanded into Turkey in 2007 and the Middle East in 2009 and is currently reviewing other international opportunities.