Costa Coffee hires first chief

Costa Coffee, the branded coffee chain owned by Whitbread, has appointed its first marketing director.

Laurie Morgan, marketing manager at Costa’s sister company Pizza Hut, has been appointed to the role to oversee the chain’s refit and expansion plans. The chain announced in April it planned to add 50 outlets to its existing 120 and has so far opened 38.

A spokeswoman says Costa plans to open one store a week until March 2000, with further openings in 2001. She says: “The plan is to keep going after this year.” The expansion would give Costa about 220 outlets by the end of 2001 if it continues at its current pace.

Morgan leaves Pizza Hut UK after two and a half years as marketing manager for strategy and development.

Currently on maternity leave, she will hand over her Pizza Hut job to Jenelle Tilling when she returns in December and before taking up her role at Costa.

Morgan formerly worked at Procter & Gamble for four years. Following this she joined Tricon Canada – the Canadian division of Tricon Restaurants – working on the KFC brand.

Tricon owns the Pizza Hut brand worldwide and runs the UK chain in partnership with Whitbread.

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