The owner of Costa coffee has swooped during the January transfer window to sign the former head of the Football Association as a non-executive director.
Current ITV chief exec Adam Crozier will join the board of Whitbread from 1 April and will be part of the remuneration committee of the group that also owns Premier Inn hotels.
Crozier has led the TV firm since 2010, but at the end of last year it emerged ITV had kicked off the process to find his successor.
And news of the new position could be seen as the start of the former chief exec of Royal Mail's plans to feather the nest for life after his role at the TV giant.
Chairman of Whitbread Richard Baker said Crozier was the right person for the job given his "strong background in business transformations".
He added: "His expertise will be of great value to the Whitbread Board as we continue to expand our successful Premier Inn and Costa brands."