Lloyds banking boss Alison Brittain has been appointed chief executive of Whitbread, to succeed Andy Harrison when he retires next year.
Harrison announced his decision to retire from the company last month, following five years in the role during which time Whitbread has risen in value from £2.5b to £9.7b. He will step down at the end of the current financial year, ending February 2016.
Brittain, who is currently group director, retail division Lloyds Banking Group, will join Whitbread in January 2016. Her past experience includes senior roles at Santander and Barclays, and Brittain is also a non-executive director of Marks and Spencer Group.
Commenting on the appointment, Whitbread chairman Richard Baker said: "We ran an extensive search and selection process and Alison was the standout candidate from a very strong field.
"Alison has vast experience in successfully managing multi-site operations with leading brands. She has a natural ability to inspire and motivate large customer-facing teams to deliver great service and her strong personal belief in the importance of putting the customer at the heart of the business makes her a perfect fit with our culture and values.
"Alison also has proven experience in delivering digital online and mobile technology, business to business marketing, and managing significant property portfolios."
Brittain added: "I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen to lead Whitbread. I am impressed by its success and its strong, well-loved brands. Its belief in focussing on customers and team members is something that is very close to my heart and I am committed to supporting and developing this even further in the future."
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