New head for Costa Coffee

Whitbread’s group finance director Christopher Rogers has been appointed as Costa Coffee’s new managing director.

The move comes as it was announced John Derkach, the coffee brand’s current MD, is to step down from his position to join UK restaurant business Tragus Group as chief executive. Derkach is set to leave his role at Costa Coffee on 1 August.

Graham Turner has stepped down as chief executive of Tragus, which manages such restaurant chains as Café Rouge and Strada. He has been in the role for seven years.

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".

Andy Harrison, chief executive of the Whitbread Group, said: “Chris has played a major part in Whitbread's strategic development and, as a longstanding member of the Costa management board, understands the vital brand and cultural DNA which has driven its success. Costa has an exciting future within Whitbread and Chris will spearhead our ambitious growth plans, which will create substantial shareholder value.

“John has done an outstanding job in leading Costa's successful growth over the last six years, during which the business has more than quadrupled in size. After 17 years with Whitbread, he is looking forward to a new challenge as CEO in an industry he knows well. I wish him every success in his new role.”

Rogers joined the company in 2005 as group finance director and is a member of the Whitbread board. He will head up Costa's global business, driving forward its ambitious five-year growth plan to increase the size of the business to 3,500 stores worldwide, £1.3bn system sales and 3,000 Costa Express machines by 2016.

Costa is the UK's largest coffee shop brand, with almost 1,400 stores and a further 800 units in 25 overseas markets, including China and India. 

Whitbread’s shares increased by 0.6% early this morning and currently stand at 1,870.44 pence (3 April).

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