Compass Group has confirmed the appointment of Paul Walsh as chairman.
He joins from Diageo, where he has been chief executive since 2000. He is also currently a non-executive director of FedEx Corporation, Unilever and Avanti Communications Group.
Walsh takes over from Sir Roy Gardner, who announced his intention to step down in February.
Sir Ian Robinson, senior independent director of Compass, said: "I'm pleased to welcome Paul to the board. His experience leading one of the UK's largest international companies through a period of significant global expansion makes him an excellent choice, and we look forward to his valuable contribution to the business.
"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Sir Roy for his stewardship of Compass over the past seven and a half years, which have seen considerable returns to shareholders. I wish him every success for the future."
Walsh added: "I'm delighted to have this exciting opportunity at such a world class company. I look forward to working with Richard Cousins and my new colleagues on the board and to making a significant contribution to the business."