STARBUCKS has hired Pizza Hut boss Mark Fox to run its UK business.
The US coffee chain announced yesterday that Fox, who has headed Pizza Hut UK delivery service since 2009, will become the UK managing director of Starbucks from 6 January next year.
The 44-year-old, who replaces Kris Engskov, was promoted earlier this year and made president for Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
“Mark’s prior experience couldn’t be more relevant in supporting where we are headed at Starbucks,” Engskov said.
“He has an impressive track record of delivering growth in the competitive retail markets, and I am greatly looking forward to working with him as we continue to drive the UK business into profit.”
Fox has worked for Pizza Hut’s franchise owner Yum! Brands for almost two decades, including stints at fast-food chain KFC. He has also worked for catering giant Compass.
He will be under pressure to improve Starbucks’ reputation after a backlash over its UK tax arrangements last year. The group paid £5m in corporation tax to the Treasury in June – its first tax payment since 2008 and the first tranche of £20m in contributions over the next two years.
His appointment was announced as Starbucks came under fire yesterday by Chinese media for charging customers in the country higher prices than other markets.
However, Starbucks said prices are tied to local business costs including labour and commodity prices.