Compass Group has appointed Sir Roy Gardner as the successor to chairman Sir Francis Mackay.
Gardner, the current chief executive of utility services group Centrica, will join the Compass board as a non-executive director on 1 October.
He will step into Mackay's shoes some time in 2006 when his successor at Centrica has been found.
Compass deputy chairman Peter Cawdron said: "Roy will bring great energy and drive to the group. He has created enormous value for shareholders at Centrica and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, and his leadership will be a tremendous asset for the group."
However, the City seemed uncertain. The company's share price fell slightly at the news and one analyst questioned his track record.
"He hasn't got a glittering career in turning companies around. Compass really needed someone to deliver shareholder value, it seems like a bit of a missed opportunity."
By Tom Bill
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