Paul Flaum is to step down as managing director of Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants (WHR), after a year and a half in the role, at the end of this month, MCA has learnt.

Flaum, who has worked for Whitbread for 12 years, took over as managing director of WHR last February after the departure of Patrick Dempsey.

In his place, Simon Jones, currently managing director of Premier Inn, will become managing director of Premier Inn & Restaurants, with Phil Birbeck, managing director of the group’s c400-strong restaurant division reporting into him.

Flaum was previously chief operating officer for WHR prior to becoming managing director of its restaurants division, which incorporates Beefeater and Brewers Fayre.

He had overseen an overhaul of the division’s operational team and two core brands, leading to the development and roll out of the Beefeater Bar & Grill format and the fledging Bar + Block concept.

Prior to becoming managing director of Premier Inn, Jones held the position of marketing and strategy director for Premier Inn.

Birbeck joined Whitbread last June, after a year and a half as operations director of Dixons Carphone, where he was the Dixons lead in the merger integration with Carphone Warehouse.