ANTHONY Habgood is to step down as chairman of Whitbread after eight years overseeing the Costa coffee owner’s rapid expansion.
The FTSE 100 leisure group, which also owns Premier Inn and restaurants including Table Table, said yesterday that Habgood intends to leave later this year.
Whitbread independent director Sir Ian Cheshire, who is also the chief executive of DIY group Kingfisher, will lead the search for his successor.
“It has been a pleasure to be chairman over a period of rapid growth as we have transformed Whitbread into a focused company and developed two market-leading brands, Premier Inn and Costa,” Habgood said.
The 67 year-old begun his career in consulting at the Boston Consulting Group before switching to the corporate world in the eighties when he served as chief executive of fabrics firm Tootal.
He is currently chairman of Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier.