Peach Report

Costa boss Derkach moves to head up Tragus

3 April, 2012

Costa Coffee managing director John Derkach is to leave Whitbread, the company announced today, to join Tragus Group as its new chief executive.

In a separate statement Tragus confirmed that current ceo Graham Turner has decided to step down after seven years.

Christopher Rogers, currently Whitbread's group finance director, will move over to take on the Costa top job. Derkach will remain md of Costa until he leaves on 1 August. Whitbread has appointed a search firm to seek a replacement group fd. Turner will also stay on at Tragus until Derkach arrives.

Whitbread ceo Andy Harrison, said: "John [Derkach] has done an outstanding job in leading Costa's successful growth over the last six years, during which the business has more than quadrupled in size.  After 17 years with Whitbread he is looking forward to a new challenge as CEO in an industry he knows well.  I wish him every success in his new role."

Derkach joined Whitbread in 1994 as Marketing Director of Whitbread Beer Company before becoming MD of Beefeater Grill in 1999. He was appointed CEO of Pizza Hut (UK) in 2002. John previously held marketing and general management positions at Procter and Gamble, Playtex and PepsiCo.

Rogers will now head up Costa's global business to drive forward its five year growth plan to increase the size of the business to 3,500 stores worldwide, £1.3 billion system sales and 3,000 Costa Express machines by 2016, the company said. Costa is already the UK's largest coffee shop brand with almost 1400 stores and a further 800 units overseas.

Graham Turner added: "I have enjoyed immensely my time at Tragus and am very proud of the business that the Tragus team has grown and developed during my time as CEO. After seven years with the business and following the successful negotiation of revised financing terms now is the right time for me to move on to further challenges. I would like to wish John and the team at Tragus every success in the future.”

Tragus, whose main brands are Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Strada, is owned by private equity house Blackstones.