Whitbread, the company behind Costa, has filled the position of chief executive with Lloyds Banking boss, Alison Brittain.

Brittain will succeed Andy Harrison, who announced his retirement as full time executive, and will leave at the end of February 2016.

The company said it was ‘delighted’ with the appointment, and had ran an extensive search and selection process to which Brittain stood out.

The company outlined her skills in delivering digital online and mobile technology, business to business marketing, and managing significant property portfolios.

The company hopes to achieve global system sales of around £2.5bn for Costa by 2020.

Whitbread chairman, Richard Baker, said: "Alison has vast experience in successfully managing multi-site operations with leading brands.  She has a natural ability to inspire and motivate large customer-facing teams to deliver great service and her strong personal belief in the importance of putting the customer at the heart of the business makes her a perfect fit with our culture and values.
"Over the last five years, under Andy’s leadership, Whitbread has generated substantial value by getting bigger and better.  With the announcement of our 2020 milestones we have laid out clear plans to get bigger, and Alison’s arrival will ensure Whitbread continues to get even better still."

Brittain said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen to lead Whitbread. I am impressed by its success and its strong, well loved brands. Its belief in focussing on customers and team members is something that is very close to my heart and I am committed to supporting and developing this even further in the future. 

“Whitbread has a clear strategy and I am looking forward to leading the Company as it grows and delivers for its customers, its people and its shareholders."

She will be on a base salary of £775,000 and will be purchasing £500,000 worth of Whitbread shares on joining the Company.

Whitbread PLC is the owner of Premier Inn and coffee shop, Costa, as well as restaurant brands, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns.