Whitbread has announced that Adam Crozier is to replace Richard Baker as chairman at the end of the next financial year - 28 February.

Crozier, currently senior independent director, is the former chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, the Football Association, the Royal Mail and most recently ITV.

Baker has been chairman for the past four years, and has spent nine years on the board. Crozier joined the board at the start of last year.

Crozier said: “Whitbread has two great brands in Premier Inn and Costa, with 50,000 colleagues delivering terrific customer service every day. We have a very strong management team and an exciting plan to continue to deliver growth in our core UK businesses, whilst developing our international business through growth in Germany, China and Costa Express. I am delighted to become Chairman of Whitbread and to help steer the company through the next chapter of its long history. I would also like to thank Richard on behalf of the whole Whitbread team for his wisdom, enthusiasm and commitment during his nine years on the Board, during which time the company has grown earnings each year and created significant value for shareholders.”

Baker said “As I now approach my ninth Whitbread year end, we are executing our strategic plan to build a bigger and better Whitbread for the benefit of all stakeholders. We have a well established Chief Executive and Executive Team, a refreshed Board, and considerable momentum in delivering this plan. This aligns with a personal intention I had, earlier last year, to progressively scale back my business responsibilities, so now is the time to hand over the Chair. Adam has had a long and successful executive career and I am pleased the Board has selected such a strong candidate to lead Whitbread through its next era of development. It has been a privilege to work for Whitbread during such a time of growth and success. Hosting the recent 275th year celebration was a proud and poignant moment for me, given how very few companies achieve such an extraordinary milestone”

Chris Kennedy, a Whitbread non-executive director, who led the selection process last autumn, said: “We have conducted a thorough, independent, external appointment process and it was evident that Adam was the best candidate to become our next Chairman. Adam has proven himself to be an eminently capable leader in a number of high profile executive appointments and shares the same strong sense of cultural values, which have been integral to Whitbread throughout its 275 year history.”