Paul Walsh, the outgoing chief executive of Diageo, has been confirmed as the new non executive chairman of global catering firm Compass, and will take up his new role on 6 Feburary 2014.

Walsh, who is replacing Sir Roy Gardner as chairman of Compass, will become a non-executive director of the company from 1 January 2014.

He has been chief executive of Diageo since 2000. Prior to that position, he held a number of senior executive roles, at Diageo in the UK and North America.

Walsh is currently a non-executive director of FedEx Corporation, Unilever PLC and Avanti Communications Group PLC. He has previously been a member of the boards of Centrica PLC, General Mills, Inc. and Ceridian Corporation.

Commenting on the prospective appointment, Sir Ian Robinson, senior independent director of Compass, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Paul to the Board. His experience leading one of the UK’s largest international companies through a period of significant global expansion makes him an excellent choice, and we look forward to his valuable contribution to the business. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Sir Roy for his stewardship of Compass over the last seven and a half years, which have seen considerable returns to shareholders. I wish him every success for the future.”

Walsh said: “I’m delighted to have this exciting opportunity at such a world class company. I look forward to working with Richard Cousins and my new colleagues on the Board and to making a significant contribution to the business.”