Ivan Schofield is to step down as chief executive of Itsu, the Julian Metcalfe-founded chain, just a year after taking the role, MCA has learnt.

It is understood that Schofield, who was previously chief executive of Ed’s Easy Diner and managing director of KFC Western Europe, will not be directly replaced at the c70-strong business.

MCA understands that founder Metcalfe will continue to work closely with the executive team as the company gears up for further expansion in the UK and its first opening in the US.

Schofield leaves Itsu with a much strengthened management team and great momentum. It expects to open three or four new shops in the UK this autumn and its first American shop in the Fashion District of New York next summer.

Itsu is hoping that the 530 Seventh Avenue opening will be the first of many in the city and in the US, where it hopes to follow the success of Pret A Manger, which Metcalfe also co-founded.

Last year, the company strengthened its international operations team appointing Ben Fenton, formerly its head of people operations in the UK, to the new role of head of operations & people (USA), and hiring Lucy McCarthy as its new head of international innovation.

SSP, the travel concessions operator, is expected to open its first site under partnership with Itsu, at London’s Liverpool Street Station

The company announced last November that it had signed a deal with Itsu and that first site under the new agreement was expected to open at a London mainline railway station during 2017.