Cosslett, a former marketer, will take up his new job by mid-March. He replaces Richard North, who left in September.
As president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the confectionery giant, Cosslett has been vigorous in defending the industry against charges that it fuels obesity.
He has appeared before the Commons Select Committee on Health, where he defended the production of king-size chocolate bars and is reported to have told MPs: “I think health warnings are a dangerous thing and while we understand the problem, I don’t think a Curly Wurly is dangerous.”
He is also credited with developing key aspects of Cadbury’s marketing strategy, such as the introduction of brands under the Dairy Milk banner and the pursuit of the adult snacking market with Cadbury Snaps.
Cosslett joined Schweppes Great Britain as a marketing director in October 1990, from a brand marketing position at Unilever. He has held several titles at Cadbury Schweppes, including managing director for Great Britain and Ireland and chief executive officer of the Asia-Pacific business.
Intercontinental Hotels Group was formed from the demerger of Six Continents last year. Its hotel brands include Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental Hotels. The company recently promoted Stephen Powell to senior vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (MW November 11).