Managed pub and restaurant operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has lost its third chairman in 18 months after the company announced this morning that Simon Burke is to stand down. Burke is to be replaced on an interim basis by industry veteran Bob Ivell, who joined M&B as a non-executive director in May. Today’s news follows the departure of previous chairmen Simon Laffin in January 2010 and John Lovering in February 2011. M&B also announced that Michael Balfour is to step down as a non-executive director. Ron Robson, a shareholder representative of Piedmont and currently a senior executive with Tavistock Group, has been appointed to the role of non-executive deputy chairman. He has been a non-executive director on the board since January 2010. Ivell has over 30 years experience in the industry, including roles as chairman of Regent Inns, managing director of Scottish & Newcastle Retail, and managing director of Beefeater Restaurants, one of Whitbread’s pub restaurant brands. He is currently senior independent director of Britvic, chairman of David Lloyd Leisure and a board advisor to the Delphi Partnership, a corporate finance advisory firm. Robson was group finance director of Belhaven Group, the Greene King-owned Scottish brewer and pub operator, from 2005 until 2008.