Phil Hooper, the brand and communications director for Sodexo UK & Ireland, will be leaving the company at the end of August after 40 years.
The 2011 Cateys Foodservice Caterer Award winner joined the firm (then Gardner Merchant) in 1976 as a management trainee and has since worked in a variety of roles including operations, sales, corporate affairs and communications.
Having joined the UK board of Gardner Merchant in 1995, he was part of the management buyout team and joined the Sodexo UK & Ireland executive team following the acquisition by Sodexo.
He went on to oversee the name change from Gardner Merchant to Sodexo as part of the company's single brand strategy.
He was appointed to his current role in August 2015 and has been involved in developing and promoting the brand globally for the justice and defence segments.
Hooper said: "Having had such a fulfilling and enjoyable career at Sodexo, it is obviously a difficult decision to leave; however I have committed 40 years to the company and I now feel it's time to do something different. I am keen to stay involved in the industry that I love, but also to have the time to support other initiatives."
Neil Murray, Sodexo UK and Ireland chairman added: "Phil has been an outstanding ambassador for Sodexo and the industry as a whole. He has been involved in all aspects of the business and has made a significant contribution to the success of the company and its transformation. I would like to thank him for all he has done and wish him every success and happiness for the future."
Hooper has also represented the industry in trade associations including the British Hospitality Association and the British Services Association as well as the Springboard charity as a member of the Board of Trustees.
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