Whitbread announces new CEO


Costa coffee group Whitbread has hired Alison Brittain, former head of Lloyds Banking Group’s retail division, to replace outgoing chief executive Andy Harrison. Brittain, who is also a non-executive director at M&S, will join Whitbread next January.

“We ran an extensive search and selection process and Alison was the standout candidate from a very strong field,” said Whitbread chairman Richard Baker.

“She has vast experience in successfully managing multi-site operations with leading brands and a natural ability to inspire and motivate large customer-facing teams.”

Harrison, who came on board in 2010 from EasyJet, announced his retirement last month. At the time the group said that it’s looking to achieve global sales of £2.5bn for the Costa Coffee chain by 2020. It currently employs 45,000 people in the UK.

Brittain has a strong focus for customer service and experience in digital, marketing and managing significant property portfolios, Whitbread Chairman Richard Baker said. Lloyds cited that she had “revitalised” its retail business since joining in 2011.

“I am impressed by Whitbread’s success and its strong, well loved brands,” Brittain said.

“Its belief in focusing on customers and team members is something that is very close to my heart and I am committed to supporting and developing this even further in the future.”

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