In a surprise move, Sodexo has announced the departure of Aidan Connolly, chief executive of its UK and Ireland business, to be replaced by Debbie White.
Connolly, who has been with the company for almost five years, started as finance director in 2007 before his appointment as chief executive in 2009. He leaves to join leading financial services provider, WorldPay, as chief finance officer.
During Connolly's time at Sodexo, the company has seen a steady increase in its profit margins and client retention rate as well as some major contract wins and the recent acquisition of WS Atkins's asset management business.
White, who will take up her new role on 1 January 2012, is no stranger to Sodexo, having previously worked for Sodexo UK and Ireland as finance director from 2004 to 2007 before crossing the Atlantic to join Sodexo North America as chief financial officer.
Michel Landel, Sodexo's chief executive officer, said that Connolly had done a fantastic job during his time with the company and wished him the best of luck in his new role.
"Debbie has proven herself to be a valuable and committed individual throughout her time with Sodexo, both here and in North America," he said. "I have every confidence in her ability to lead the Sodexo team in the UK and Ireland and look forward to seeing the business continue to develop further."
By Janet Harmer
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