The Restaurant Group has announced that its chief financial officer, Barry Nightingale, is to leave the company with immediate effect, after less than a year in the role.

The board has started a search for a new chief financial officer and said it would update the market in due course.

At the same time, MCA understands that Crispin Holder, director of finance, has also left the business. Holder had been with TRG for over six years, first as financial controller, then since September 2014 as director of finance.

In addition, Mick van Deventer has joined the Frankie & Benny’s operator as group financial controller. Van Deventer was previously head of finance at JD Wetherspoon for nearly eight years.

Nightingale joined the group in June 2016 – prior to the arrival of the current chief executive Andy McCue - after serving in the same role for the airline Monarch.

Chairman Debbie Hewitt said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Barry for the valuable contribution that he has made over the past year, as we began the company’s turnaround process, which continues to progress well. We wish him all the best for the future.”

The company’s next trading update will be on 26 May, the date of the company’s AGM.

On Nightingale’s departure Cenkos leisure analyst Simon French said: “No reason for his departure is given but we note his appointment pre-dated that of chief executive Andy McCue who has been building his own top team. Therefore we do not view his departure as concerning but we expect the share price will react adversely given he has only been in post since June 2016 and there has been significant instability at the top of the group since Andrew Page’s departure in August 2014.”