Whitbread has appointed Richard Baker as chairman with effect from 1st September 2014. He succeeds Anthony Habgood who, after nine years in the role is stepping down from the Board.
Richard Baker has been an independent non-executive director on the Whitbread Board since September 2009 and is currently chairman of Virgin Active Group, a role he has held since 2008 and chairman of DFS Furniture Holdings where he has been since 2010.
He was previously chief executive of (Alliance) Boots Group Plc from 2003 to 2007 and prior to that was chief operating officer at Asda Group Plc.
Sir Ian Cheshire, Whitbread’s Senior Independent Director who led the Nominations Committee process commented: “We have conducted a thorough search, with the help of executive search consultants, to identify the most suitable person to become the next Chairman of Whitbread. We were lucky enough to have a very strong field of potential candidates but at the end it was clear to us that Richard was the best choice to take on the role of Chairman.
“He has a very strong record in both managing and chairing consumer businesses, a deep understanding of Whitbread’s operations through his role as a non-executive and a strong empathy with our ethos, culture and commitment to serving our customers. We are delighted that he has accepted the role.”