Punch Taverns has announced that Stephen Billingham, former finance director of British Energy Group, is to become its non-executive chairman in September following Punch's demerger from its managed division Spirt. He will replace Peter Cawdron, who will retire from the board after serving for more than eight years. Meanwhile, Punch has also announced that Chris Bell, chairman of GAME Group and former MD of Ladbrokes and Hilton Group, is to become a non-executive director of Spirit following the demerger. Billingham, 53, was finance director of British Energy Group from 2004 to 2009, and is credited with helping to turnaround the business, which was sold in 2009 for £12.5bn. Before this, he was group finance director of WS Atkins, group treasurer of BICC (now Balfour Beatty) and Severn Trent. He is currently a Government-appointed non-executive director and chairman of the Audit Committee of URENCO, the uranium enrichment supplier. He is also chairman of Fountains, the support services company. Punch chief executive Ian Dyson said: "We are delighted that Stephen will become the chairman of Punch. This marks further progress as we head toward the demerger later this summer. "Stephen brings with him extensive financial turnaround, risk and operational experience, which will be valuable in his role overseeing the development of Punch. "We are also pleased to announce that Chris will join the board of Spirit. He has extensive retail and leisure sector experience in the public arena and will bring this to bear as Spirit embarks on its future as a standalone company." Billingham said: "I am looking forward to taking on the chairmanship of Punch after the demerger and working with Roger Whiteside and his management team to unlock value. This is a business with a strong foundation, improving momentum and good long-term prospects." Bell is also currently senior independent director of Quintain Estates and Development.