New Costa Coffee CEO is Brighton university graduate

Brighton graduate Jill McDonald
Brighton graduate Jill McDonald

A former Brighton student has been named as the new CEO of a UK coffee giant.

Costa Coffee has chosen Jill McDonald, who graduated from the University of Brighton in 1986 with a first class degree in Business Studies BA(Hons), for the role.

Jill 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.”

She started her career as a graduate trainee at Colgate-Palmolive shortly after leaving Brighton University and currently serves on the board of InterContinental Hotels Group.

Since then, she has enjoyed careers with household names such as McDonald’s, British Airways, Halfords, and, most recently, Marks & Spencer.

Jennifer Mann, president of global ventures for The Coca-Cola Company, said: “Jill’s track record, depth of international experience, and excitement about joining our business makes her an ideal leader.”

Jill started her role on Monday, December 2 and is based at Costa’s headquarters in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

Costa Coffee was founded in London in 1971 by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa and now has more than 2,600 coffee shops in the UK.