Former Costa Coffee UK & Ireland managing director Jason Cotta has been named the new CEO of Danish bakery business Ole & Steen.

The business, which is known as Lagkagehuset in Denmark, currently operates 11 sites in London, 97 in its native Denmark and, this year, has launched three sites in New York.

Cotta (pictured right), who is English and lives in London, has replaced Jesper Friis, who led the business for the past five years.

With a long career of operating café and restaurant brands, including at Travelodge and TGI Friday’s, Cotta worked for Costa since 2010 and held roles including managing director of the international division and, most recently, managing director for UK & Ireland.

“Jason Cotta has more than 20 years of extensive management experience with roll-out and operation of strong café and restaurant concepts in and outside the UK,” said Ole & Steen chairman Henrik Brandt.

“This experience, as well as Jason’s constant focus on a high-quality customer experience and developing dedicated employees who help realise the customer experience, means that Jason is the right CEO to continue our ambitious plan to make Ole & Steen’s unique products and services available to even more consumers in and outside Denmark.”

Brandt, who said Friis had left the business for personal reasons, thanked the former CEO for his “visionary and passionate leadership, his enormous energy, and his great contribution to creating a platform and an organisation for further expansion”.