Mat Baker has stepped down as chairman of hospitality networking organisation Arena to take on a new challenge in the Middle East.
Baker has left after four-and-a-half years in the chair to be divisional CEO for the food service business of IFFCO, in the United Arab Emirates.
He has been an active supporter of Arena for more than a decade, while also holding senior positions at Procter & Gamble Professional and Premier Foods.
Working alongside the association's director Lorraine Wood, Baker has helped secure a number of high profile speakers for past Arena events, including Alastair Campbell, Richard Cousins, Karen Forrester, Jan Matthews and Simon Vincent.
The next Arena chairman will be announced in December. In the meantime, former chairman Andy Kemp, group sales director at 3663, will hold the fort.
Wood commented: "Mat has been a true ambassador for Arena for over a decade and his term as chairman epitomises his support of the association and our industry.
"He has actively promoted and championed Arena across the industry and ensured that it remains relevant and valuable. We thank Mat for all his hard work and commitment and wish him and his family all the very best for their future in the United Arab Emirates."
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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