Starbucks has named Mark Fox, former chief executive of Pizza Hut UK’s delivery business, as the new managing director of its UK operations.

Fox, who will take up his new role on 6 January, brings over 20 years of retail operations and franchise experience to Starbucks, most recently at Pizza Hut UK and previously at Compass brands in the UK & Ireland.

He replaces Kris Engskov, who was named as president of Starbucks EMEA in May.

Starbucks said that Fox, who became chief executive of Pizza Hut’s delivery business in the wake of sister company Pizza Hut Restaurants’ acquisition by Rutland Partner last year, had particularly strong experience of delivering significant growth for major names in the UK’s hospitality and food sector.

It said: “As well as strong franchise experience Mark also brings significant expertise driving operational excellence in retail stores. Starting his career on the retail floor in the North West over 20 years ago, Mark knows food and beverage operations as well as anyone in his field and will leverage that experience to continue to improve the execution of the Starbucks Experience in our retail stores across the UK.”

Engskov said: “We are very pleased to welcome Mark to Starbucks. This is an exciting time for the UK business as we evolve our growth model to accelerate our growth in this critical market. Mark’s prior experience couldn’t be more relevant in supporting where we are headed at Starbucks. He has an impressive track record of delivering growth in the competitive retail markets, and I am greatly looking forward to working with him as we continue to drive the UK business into profit.”

Fox said: “I am delighted to be joining Starbucks. I have always loved Starbucks coffee and will now have the privilege of building on the momentum the team is creating for the business. I look forward to meeting our passionate and very capable partners (employees) all across the country and working with them to continue to deliver exceptional experiences for our customers.”

Meanwhile, the coffee chain has started training 350 apprentice baristas in the UK. A further 150 baristas are expected to start by the end of the year with another 500 to be hired in 2014.

Last month, the company confirmed to M&C Report that it plans to open 200 sites across the country under franchise by 2017.