Robert Salmon, the former Aramark director of education services, has joined rival caterer Elior in a similar role.
Salmon, who becomes Avenance education sales director, has more than 30 years of experience in the education sector working for Aramark, Compass Group and Sodexo.
Salmon left Aramark last year as part of a management shake-up and was succeeded by Dee Beckett, who previously headed Aramark's prison business.
He will report to Jan Matthews, who joined Elior last summer as regional managing director for Avenance's southern region and education division.
Matthews said: "We are pleased to welcome such a high calibre individual as Robert to further strengthen our Education team within the Avenance Contracts division."
By Chris Druce
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