January 4, 2018 / 7:54 AM / 16 days ago

Whitbread appoints ex-ITV CEO Crozier as chairman

(Reuters) - Britain’s Whitbread, owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, on Thursday appointed as chairman Adam Crozier, a former chief executive of broadcaster ITV Plc (ITV.L) and Royal Mail Plc (RMG.L).

He will replace Richard Baker, who will retire at the end of February.

Crozier joined Whitbread’s board last April and became senior independent director in September.

He was credited with restoring ITV’s fortunes by reducing its reliance on advertising and expanding its production business.

He also spent seven years at Royal Mail where he set about restructuring the postal business in the face of opposition from unions. Prior to that he led the English Football Association (FA).

Whitbread, which has been the subject of break-up speculation in the past, warned in April of a tougher consumer environment, as rising inflation and muted wage growth weighed on consumer spending.

    Last month, U.S.-based hedge fund Sachem Head Capital Management declared a 3.4 percent stake in the British hotel and coffee chain operator.

    Sachem Head has previously taken activist positions at companies, though it is unclear whether it will push for changes at FTSE 100 .FTSE listed Whitbread.

    Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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