SSP, the leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, has appointed Simon Smith as chief executive of UK & Ireland.

Smith is currently managing director of WHSmith’s travel division and has a 20 year track record in retail. 

He began his career with Fenwicks before moving to Allders Department Stores and then Safeway, where he worked in both commercial and marketing roles. He joined the travel division of WHSmith in 2004 as trading director before being promoted to chief operating officer and, more recently, managing director.

Commenting on the appointment, Kate Swann, chief executive of SSP said: “Simon has an excellent track record in travel retail. At WHSmith he was instrumental in driving growth and the expansion of the business internationally. His proactive leadership style will undoubtedly contribute much to the continuing success of our UK and Ireland business, and I’m delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Smith will join SSP in June and replace Mark Angela, who has been appointed to the new position of chief commercial officer for the Group.