July 18, 2014 // Franchising.com // Richard Baker has been an independent non-executive director on the Whitbread Board since September 2009. He is currently Chairman of Virgin Active Group, a role he has held since 2008 and Chairman of DFS Furniture Holdings where he has been since 2010. Richard was previously Chief Executive of (Alliance) Boots Group PLC from 2003 to 2007 and prior to that was Chief Operating Officer at Asda Group PLC.
"We have conducted a thorough search, with the help of executive search consultants, to identify the most suitable person to become the next Chairman of Whitbread. We were lucky enough to have a very strong field of potential candidates but at the end it was clear to us that Richard was the best choice to take on the role of Chairman. He has a very strong record in both managing and chairing consumer businesses, a deep understanding of Whitbread’s operations through his role as a non-executive and a strong empathy with our ethos, culture and commitment to serving our customers. We are delighted that he has accepted the role."
"Throughout my time on the Board, I have admired the strength of the company’s businesses and brands. I strongly endorse the common values shared throughout the group and its consistent focus on putting the customer first. It will be an honour to become Chairman of this great company, and I look forward to it continuing to deliver on its strategy for growth. "
"It has been a privilege to have been the Chairman of Whitbread over the past nine years. It is a company with tremendous potential and I’m sure that Richard is the right person to chair the Board for the next phase of its development. I wish Richard and everyone at Whitbread every success in the future"
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Whitbread PLC is the owner of the UK’s favourite hotel chain, Premier Inn and the UK’s favourite coffee shop, Costa as well as restaurant brands, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns.
Whitbread PLC employs 43,000 people in over 2,000* outlets across the UK, with its well-loved brands making every day experiences special for over 22 million UK customers every month.
Whitbread has outlined growth milestones for 2016 and 2018. The 2018 milestones are to increase the number of Premier Inn UK rooms to around 75,000 and to double the size of Costa with global system sales of £2bn.
At Whitbread we are committed to be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. Our CR programme, ‘Good Together’ is focused on three pillars of Team & Communities, Customer Wellbeing and Energy & Environment.
In the year ended 27 February 2014, Whitbread PLC reported a 13.0% increase in Group Revenue to £2,294 million and Underlying Profit before tax of £411.8 million up 16.5%.
Whitbread PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100. It is also a member of the FTSE4Good Index.
*excludes Costa Franchise stores and Costa Express
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Whitbread PLC is the UK's leading hospitality company, managing the number one brands in hotels, restaurants, and coffee shops, including Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater, and Costa.