KellyDeli, the operator of Sushi Daily, has appointed its first externally-recruited chief executive, Silvano Delnegro.

Delnegro was previously chief executive of Autogrill, the Italy-based multinational catering company.

He was also chief operating officer of HMSHost, Autogrill’s US operation, and the franchisor of Leon, Leon and Wagamama stores.

The appointment will allow founders Kelly Choi and Jerome Castaing to step back into an owner role, while Delnegro will be responsible for deploying growth strategies and ensuring innovation and consistency in operations at the group.

Choi and Castaing said: “Our role will evolve towards an owner one. We will continue to share our vision and strategy with Silvano, who we believe is the perfect pivot CEO to transform our passion into sustainable projects for the long-term.”

Delnegro said: “I am very excited to join KellyDeli. Their brands provide high quality products and they have a unique culture. They are the best in class in terms of customer service. I am very happy to become part of the family and the adventure.”

Wife and husband Choi and Castaing founded KellyDeli a as the first shop-in-shop Sushi bar in a European supermarket.

KellyDeli has partnered with more than 30 international retailers across Europe under its Sushi Daily brand, with in 800 kiosks in 10 European countries, and a 400m euros in sales.

It operates in retail, convenience stores, department stores, airports, train stations, high street, and food courts.