Dunstable / UK. (wbp) Whitbread PLC announces that Alison Brittain has been appointed as its next Chief Executive to succeed Andy Harrison, who has decided to retire from full time executive life at the end of February 2016. Alison will join the Company on 04 January 2016. Alison, aged 50, is currently Group Director, Retail Division Lloyds Banking Group PLC which she joined in 2011. Previously, she held senior roles at Santander UK PLC and Barclays PLC. Alison is also a non executive director of Marks and Spencer Group PLC. Whitbread Chairman Richard Baker said: «We are delighted to have secured someone of Alison´s calibre. We ran an extensive search and selection process and Alison was the standout candidate from a very strong field. Alison has vast experience in successfully managing multi-site operations with leading brands. She has a natural ability to inspire and motivate large customer-facing teams to deliver great service and her strong personal belief in the importance of putting the customer at the heart of the business makes her a perfect fit with our culture and values. Alison also has proven experience in delivering digital online and mobile technology, business to business marketing, and managing significant property portfolios. Over the last five years, under Andy´s leadership, Whitbread has generated substantial value by getting bigger and better. With the announcement of our 2020 milestones we have laid out clear plans to get bigger, and Alison´s arrival will ensure Whitbread continues to get even better still». Alison Brittain said: «I am absolutely delighted to have been chosen to lead Whitbread. I am impressed by its success and its strong, well loved brands. Its belief in focussing on customers and team members is something that is very close to my heart and I am committed to supporting and developing this even further in the future. Whitbread has a clear strategy and I am looking forward to leading the Company as it grows and delivers for its customers, its people and its shareholders».