John Talbot, a corporate restructuring specialist, has been appointed as interim chief executive. Talbot had been working with Johnson Service Group as a consultant during December. He has more than 25 years’ experience of turning round and restructuring companies. He is a senior partner at Kroll Talbot Hughes and was previously global head of Arthur Andersen’s corporate finance and corporate recovery practice.

Johnson Service Group also said it had secured a waiver to its year-end banking covenants in exchange for giving the banks security over its assets. An April 30 deadline has been set for a new lending agreement.

The group added that the subsequent higher interest charges for the banks’ agreement meant that pre-tax profits for 2008 would be lower than market expectations.