Crisis engulfs Just Eat board: Chairman quits and executive faces probe

Just Eat plunged into crisis after its chairman quits and a top executive faces ‘personal misconduct’ probe

Just Eat Takeaway has been plunged into crisis after its chairman quit and a top executive faced a ‘personal misconduct’ probe. 

Just hours before the food delivery group’s annual general meeting in Amsterdam, it said chairman Adriaan Nuhn was stepping down over ‘shareholder concerns’ following months of criticism. 

And in a second shock, it scrapped a vote on whether to reappoint chief operating officer Jorg Gerbig following a formal complaint about ‘possible personal misconduct at a company event’. 

Crisis: Just hours before the food delivery group’s annual general meeting in Amsterdam, it said chairman Adriaan Nuhn was stepping down

Just Eat launched an investigation into the allegations under its ‘speak up policy’ which encourages staff to report issues including sexual harassment, unethical or dishonest conduct, bribery and other issues. 

Gerbig, 41, founded German takeaway firm Lieferando before it was bought by Just Eat in 2014, when he became chief operating officer. He is ‘fully cooperating with the investigation’, Just Eat said. 

His term ended yesterday but if the allegations are unfounded he may be put up for re-election. Just Eat would not disclose details of the allegations. US fund manager Cat Rock Capital, Just Eat’s second largest shareholder with a near-7pc stake, said bosses had overseen a ‘complete loss of trust’ among investors. 

Just Eat’s London-listed shares have fallen almost 80 per cent since late 2020 and yesterday closed down 9.37 per cent, or 209.5p, at 2025.5p. Cat Rock urged fellow shareholders to vote against the re-election of finance chief Brent Wissink and to oppose the re-election of the supervisory board. 

The delivery business was formed in 2020 through a £9billion merger between Just Eat and Dutch rival Takeaway. 

It is listed in London and in Amsterdam. 

Nuhn’s resignation comes just weeks after Just Eat said it will look to sell its US business Grubhub, which it bought less than two years ago for £5.8billion, in an apparent bow to Cat Rock’s demands. Cat Rock had called the takeover a ‘mistake’ and urged Just Eat to refocus on Europe. 

Just Eat has also been criticised over an annual skiing trip. Around 5,400 employees attended the four-day trip jaunt in Switzerland while investors were publicly attacking the company’s strategy. 

Despite the expected backlash, Just Eat said last night chief executive Jitse Groen was re-elected alongside Wissink. Vice-chairman Corinne Vigreux, who will take over as interim chairman while a replacement for Nuhn is found, was also re-elected.