Huel CFO David Di Cello

Huel’s new CFO David Di Cello

Fast-growing meal replacement brand Huel has appointed the CFO at restaurant chain Wagamama as its chief financial officer.

David Di Cello joins the business this month after spending three years at Wagamama.

Previously, he was the finance director and interim CFO at Pret a Manger, joining as German investment firm JAB acquired the food-to-go chain in May 2018. He also led the integration of Eat, which Pret bought in 2019.

Di Cello also has plc experience, having held senior positions at BT, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s.

The move follows “a strong start” to the year for Huel, with the business recording its best-ever monthly sales in January 2023, selling three meals every second.

Huel CEO James McMaster said Di Cello was joining the business at “an exciting time”.

“He brings valuable experience as a leader within the consumer and retail space,” McMaster added.

“His ability to work strategically and lead a high-growth international retail business will be a hugely important asset for us as we look to maintain our positive momentum and continue our expansion.”

Di Cello said: “I’m excited to be joining Huel at such an important time for the business.

“As a ‘Hueligan’ that has used the products for a few years now, I’m proud to be joining a truly innovative company that continues to hit new milestones in the UK and internationally. I look forward to working with James and all of the team on this next stage of growth.”

Launched in 2015 by Julian Hearn, Huel has expanded rapidly, with revenues hitting £144m in the year ended 31 July 2022.

Last month, the brand ranked as the 14th fastest-growing food and drink business in Alantra’s annual Fast 50, registering two-year annual compound sales growth of 43%.

In December 2022, Huel raised £20m in its second funding round, backed by actor and UN goodwill ambassador Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba and TV host Jonathan Ross, valuing the business at £464m.

It appointed former Wagamama CEO Emma Woods as an independent non-executive director in May 2022 as it continued to strengthen its board ahead of a potential £1bn IPO.

This year, however, Huel received a warning from the advertising watchdog after making “misleading” money-saving claims about its meal replacement products.