Russell Barnes is new CEO at David Lloyd – Glenn Earlam moves to be chair
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Russell Barnes is new CEO at David Lloyd – Glenn Earlam moves to be chair

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In breaking news, HCM understands that David Lloyd Leisure's Glenn Earlam will move from his role as CEO to become chair of the business, with COO, Russell Barnes, stepping into the CEO role.

Barnes has been with DLL for the best part of six years, having moved across from Merlin Entertainments with Earlam in 2015.

Barnes was a divisional director at Merlin's Midway business, working with Earlam, who was MD.

David Lloyd Leisure is owned by TDR Capital, which bought it from London & Regional and Caird Capital in 2013.

TDR has €8bn invested across Europe and says it "seeks to transform businesses through 'operational improvements and high returning capital investments'.

On 4 January this year, DLL's auditors, Deloitte flagged up the detrimental effect of the pandemic on the business, saying the uncertainties surrounding government-ordered closures could cast "significant doubt" on the group and its future.

Speaking to HCM at the time, Earlam, said a significant number of leisure businesses had had to declare 'material uncertainty' in their accounts due to the pandemic and that DLL was in "very good shape prior to the lockdown" and would return to a similar position, once club closures come to an end.

David Lloyd is one of Europe’s largest premium operators, with 124 clubs – 100 in the UK and a further 24 across Europe. The clubs are managed under two brands – David Lloyd Clubs and Harbour Clubs.

The company has been creative in tackling the pandemic emergency, being the first national operator to reopen for tennis and then outdoor workouts and one of the first to launch a hybrid offering. Earlam has also been very active in lobbying for the sector.

We'll bring you more news as this story develops.

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