Costa Coffee appoints former M&S clothing boss Jill McDonald as new chief

Costa Coffee has appointed former Marks & Spencer clothing boss Jill McDonald as its new chief executive.

The cafe business, which was purchased by Coca-Cola for £3.9 billion, announced that she will replace current chief Dominic Paul at the end of this month.

The soft drink giant hailed Mr Paul for leading the chain, which has more than 2,600 UK coffee shops, through a “strong growth phase” after the takeover.

Ms McDonald has taken the helm after she was ousted as the fashion boss at M&S in July after failing to turn around the retailer’s distressed clothing and home division.

She left the high street stalwart after criticism from M&S chief executive Steve Rowe over the performance of key clothing ranges and errors which saw popular products run out of stock.

Prior to joining M&S, she was the chief executive at bikes and car parts business Halfords for two years until 2017.

Jill McDonald said: “I have long been a fan of Costa and have watched the company grow in the UK and far beyond.

“I look forward to joining the Costa leadership team and building on the great foundation and growth potential in the business.”

The new boss was also previously UK CEO at McDonald’s, where she worked from 2006 until 2015.

Jennifer Mann, president of global ventures for The Coca-Cola Company, said: “I am excited to welcome Jill to the Costa family. Her track record, depth of international experience and excitement about joining our business makes her an ideal leader to build on the great work of Dominic and the rest of the Costa team.

“Dominic led a significant reshaping of Costa’s international footprint, the expansion of the brand across multiple new platforms and a wide-ranging reset of the core UK business strategy.”