Dermot King, a prominent industry figure, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of the fast-expanding pub group, Oakman Inns & Restaurants. Dermot is currently Managing Director of the £1bn turnover leisure company Bourne Leisure, and will be joining Oakman Inns in the new year.

Oakman Inns & Restaurants, was founded by entrepreneur, Peter Borg-Neal, in 2007 after his opening pub, The Akeman in Tring, was awarded for outstanding design and conservation work. Since then, the company has been transforming both historical and modern buildings into contemporary spaces, winning multiple awards along the way.

It was decided that the company was expanding faster than ever expected.

“We had a clear understanding of the challenges posed by our planned rate of expansion as well as the further opportunities that were presenting themselves. With that vision and breadth of ambition, we felt the time was right to find someone who had the same level of customer focus as our team and who would understand our community and corporate ethos. We wanted someone who not only spoke our language, but who would also bring something fresh to the table,”  Peter said.

Oakman Inns, who retained the top 20 position in the prestigious Sunday Times 100 Best 100 Companies to Work For, has over 20 distinctive all-day establishments across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

Peter first met Dermot in 2015, when he was the guest speaker at an industry Directors’ dinner.

“I was incredibly impressed by his clarity of thought, his energy and, of course, his remarkable track record. Once the decision had been taken to find a COO – Dermot was our first choice. We have had long discussions, and Dermot has run his critical eye over the business and I am delighted to say, he has agreed to join the business in this significant step on our ongoing journey.”

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