Compass Group has appointed industry outsider Ian El-Mokadem as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of its UK & Ireland division.
El-Mokadem, managing director of telecommunications company Onetel, will be the fifth man to step into the role in less than a year when he starts his new job on Monday (8 May).
He replaces Trevor Biggs, who became interim CEO in January.
Sir Roy Gardner, incoming chairman, said: "Ian is one of the most able young businessmen I know."
Chris Stern, managing director of Stern Consultancy, believes he'll need to be. "It's an interesting choice, as outside appointments tend to work brilliantly or be a disaster," he said. "An outsider faces a very steep learning curve, as the catering sector is very different.
"It's fragmented and made up of lots of very small transactions, and you're working on other people's premises with other people's money based in the field at locations that are unique."
Compass is facing lawsuits in the USA over the winning of UN peacekeeping contracts, and is being investigated by a US Congressional Committee.
The original contract scandal led to the sacking of UK & Ireland CEO Peter Harris in November 2005.
By Chris Druce