Richard Segal, chief executive of UK cinema chain Odeon, is to leave the company in August.

Ian Pluthero, most recently an executive director and chief executive of Carlisle Holdings, has been appointed to look after day-to-day running of the company while Odeon looks for a permanent replacement.

Segal has headed the exhibition chain for seven years, during which time he led the Cinven-backed buyout from Rank in February 2000. He also presided over a securitisation of Odeon late last year and its subsequent sale earlier this year, to a consortium made up of UK distributor Entertainment, West LB's principal finance group, the Dellal family and Robert Tchenguiz.

With 608 across 97 sites, Odeon has a box office marketshare of around 23%.

"I have had seven fantastic years at Odeon, where so much has been achieved, culminating this year in the company being awarded the European cinema exhibitor of the year award by the industry," said Richard Segal in a statement. "Odeon is a great business with an exciting future and an estate of cinemas which is unrecognisable from that which existed a few years ago. The time is right, however, for me personally to move on and seek new challenges."

Entertainment's Trevor Green said: "Odeon has experienced considerable growth over recent years and we are determined to maintain and build on this momentum."