Houghton has left BSL – rumours confirmed

By Sarah Falson

BRISBANE: Current.com.au this morning received confirmation that Guy Houghton and Ian Mursell have left Betta Stores Limited (BSL), and Ian Brown along with a new BSL management team will now be holding the fort.

BSR senior franchisee, Everard Johnson, told Current.com.au that he did not know where former BSL CEO, Houghton and former BSL chief operating officer, Mursell were going, but he did confirm that they are “not staying on,” as they are “not part of the consortium.”

In the lead-up to Friday’s bidding war outcome, in which BSR and Johnson secured the BSL franchise business for close to $4 million, Houghton told Current.com.au that he would stay on at BSL only if he is wanted.

“I have certainly not offered my resignation from BSL,” he said last month.

“I can only assume that any rumour has been circulated for malicious reasons rather than for constructive ones.

“I have reserved my comments as to whether I will participate in any future ventures that may be put forward. If the retailers want me to be involved and there is merit, I will be there.

“I am supporting the retailers on the basis that I am still employed by this company, albeit in a diminished capacity.”

The BSL franchise business is currently being run by the consortium of 95 storefronts, and Ian Brown has been named ‘general manager’ of the team, according to Johnson.

“Brown has 15 years experience in Betta Stores. He’s been part of each different BSL department, so we’re very confident in his management ability,” Johnson told Current.com.au

A smaller management team will soon be enlisted by Brown, said Johnson.

“He will now be training and organising a management team.”

When asked if BSL members who were not part of the 95-strong consortium could join, Johnson answered: “Absolutely. We’d love to have them. We want the majority of retailers to join the consortium.”

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