CHRIS ROGERS, who was named as Costa’s incoming managing director yesterday, joined the leisure group in 2005 after a stellar 17-year career in the retail sector.
Rogers qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC and joined DIY firm Kingfisher in 1988 as a corporate finance manager, spending a total of 13 years at the company in various senior product marketing, commercial and finance roles.
In 1993 he was appointed as finance director and eventually became commercial director at Kingfisher’s subsidiary Comet, the troubled electricals chain, which was sold last month by its parent Kesa to private investment firm OpCapita.
Rogers was also finance director at the now defunct store chain Woolworths after its was spun out of Kingfisher in 2001, where he was also chairman of Woolworths’ entertainment and wholesale publishing businesses.
Andy Harrison, Whitbread’s chief executive, said yesterday that Rogers “played a major part in Whitbread's strategic development and as a long standing member of the Costa management board, understands the vital brand and cultural DNA which has driven its success.”
Rogers was also hotly tipped as one of the frontrunning internal candidates likely to succeed former chief executive Alan Parker in 2010 – yet he lost out to Harrison, the former boss of EasyJet. Analysts, however, still believe he could one day preside over an independent Costa, if Whitbread chooses to demerge the fast-growing business.
Commenting on his new role Rogers said: "This is a great opportunity to head up a fantastic business. Costa has a strong and experienced team leading its four divisions, all of which have exciting profitable growth potential".
Analysts are forecasting a 26 per cent rise in revenues at Costa for the year to February, after fourth quarter sales jumped by 6.2 per cent.