Helen Milligan-Smith has been appointed managing director of Aramark UK from 4 January, taking over from Lawrence Shirazian, who is leaving the business this week.
Milligan-Smith joins Aramark UK from her role as head of M&S Simply Foods and will be taking charge of the foodservice firm's operational growth and innovation strategy for all UK markets.
As well as being a finalist in The Apprentice on the BBC in 2011, Milligan-Smith previously held the role of head of retail at Greggs UK and growth director at wholesaler Brakes.
She said: "I couldn't be happier with the challenge and opportunity ahead with Aramark. I was really impressed with their growth agenda, their innovation, and the business aspirations for the year ahead.
"We know the consumer and industry has changed immensely in the last 12 months, and I look forward to bringing my foodservice and food retail perspective to lead the next phase of the company's UK growth. I can't wait to meet our people, our clients and our partners in the New Year."
Chief executive of Aramark Northern Europe Frank Gleeson added: "This is an excellent appointment for our UK business, as well as Northern Europe overall. We're not just excited about the skill-set, expertise and experience that Helen will bring, but the character and personality we know will galvanise our entire business for the year ahead.
"She is a dynamic and people-focused leader, who gets culture, who delivers growth, who drives innovation, and who notably brings a wealth of experience in organisational strategy. We look forward to what she will bring to our people, our clients, our customers, and indeed the whole industry going forward."
Shirazian has decided to leave the business to pursue other interests.