Whitbread has hired Mars’ former head of European marketing for petcare,
Chris Green, as strategic marketing director for its restaurants and
The appointment completes Whitbread’s senior marketing line-up,
replacing Steve Philpott, who left restaurants and leisure in November
1995 to head up Whitbread’s chain of David Lloyd leisure centres.
Green, who will start at Whitbread on July 8, left Mars less than a year
ago after a management shake-up which followed the merger of its
European petcare and main meals divisions into one business unit under
the name Master Brands.
According to a spokesman for Whitbread, Green will be involved in
marketing and advertising for Pizza Hut, Beefeater, TGI Friday and the
Thresher chain, with an annual advertising budget of around pounds 11m.
He will also be responsible for managing the expansion of the division
and the development of new retail concepts. Whitbread, already a major
player in the leisure industry, has made a number of significant
acquisitions in the last financial year, including the David Lloyd
Leisure business, Marriott Hotels in the UK and the Costa Coffee chain.
The company has not ruled out further acquisitions and is tipped to make
a bid for the famous Harry Ramsden chip shop chain.
The restaurant and leisure division, which returned a 34% increase in
profits to pounds 88m at its end of year results in May, is actively
seeking to expand its existing operations and announced on June 23 1996
that it will treble the size of its 20-strong TGI Friday restaurant
chain, with the addition of 42 new sites around the country.