James Horler has resigned as the chairman of Leon – the upmarket fast food restaurant chain – after disagreeing with management about its expansion plans. Horler – the former chief executive of La Tasca – said he thinks the company has to get the basics right before opening extra restaurants. The ex-chairman said he had no problem with the content at Leon – he just wanted to rein in plans to open new sites. He told M&C Report: “You have to have periods of consolidation before you spend on new restaurants and you have to make sure your model is solid and robust.” Horler – who also runs Ego Restaurants – was appointed by Leon last October to the role of chairman. He stood down last Thursday, September 4. “I have resigned from the board of Leon, and obviously, thereby as chairman as well,” added Horler. “I just don't support the current executive team in their business plan. I'm pretty much against any fund-raising at the moment. I think the business should be consolidating, it should be improving its current performance and not investing in new restaurants. So it's a difference of opinion.” Leon is the brainchild of John Vincent and Henry Dimbleby – and currently operates eight sites in London. The business is backed by former BBC chairman Gavyn Davies through his private equity firm Active Capital, which is the leading contributor to a £2.8m fund-raising. In January this year, M&C Report told how Henry Dimbleby wanted to expand Leon outside of London. He said: “We are very interested in looking at sites between London and Bristol, including places like Guildford, Reading and Oxford, although that might be something for 2009.” Now, Horler has quit the board over those expansion plans. He added: “I feel if you're honourable to a company as chairman of the board and you don't support the business plan then you might as well step aside. “I have no issue that the Leon content is good, it has got potential – but I think that the business has go to improve its operational delivery and make profit rather than considering opening new restaurants.” Talking about the management team at Leon he said: “I think they were all quite surprised but it's not a complete surprise. “I have been wishing them to consolidate and improve what they were doing, getting the customer delivery right and for the numbers to be better.” He added that Leon had closed two restaurants in the past 12 months – in Villiers Street and Brompton Road, London.