Cafe move for Whitbread boss

Whitbread is moving Mike Dowell, its marketing director for lagers, stouts and sponsorship, to head its Costa Coffee cafe chain.

Dowell will take up the managing director’s post in early October, replacing existing managing director Mike Johnson, who is promoted to chief executive for the cafe chain. Johnson will retain his role as managing director of TGI Friday’s.

Whitbread bought Costa Coffee last October for an undisclosed sum and now has 42 outlets. It has ambitious expansion plans for the chain, and is planning to open 30 new cafes each year.

Dowell became marketing director for lagers and stouts in February 1995 after a shake-up in the department by the newly appointed marketing director John Derkach.

In the new role, he was given responsibility for Whitbread’s licensed brands such as Heineken, Stella Artois and Murphy’s. He was made marketing director for ales in July 1993 after being the beer company’s trade marketing director.

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