Former Avenance chairman Tim West will join Lexington Catering as chief executive in January.
West has bought the 45% stake in the contract caterer held by former managing director Clare Prowse for an undisclosed sum.
West said: "I've worked with many of the senior people at Lexington before.
"It has a culture of excellence and embraces new technology and cutting-edge ideas," he added.
Managing director Mike Sunley, who previously worked with West at Avenance and owns a 45% share of Lexington, said: "Tim has a proven track record of growing and directing contract catering businesses."
The company currently operates 10 contracts, but food service consultant Norman Deas believes West will use his contacts to help expand the company.
"At a smaller company he'll be master of his own destiny and be able to get more hands-on without the pressure of shareholders breathing down his neck," he said.
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