Andy Harrison joined the company from easyJet in 2010 and will leave by February next year to take up a position as chairman of homewares retailer Dunelm.
“I have been a chief executive of three public companies for 18 years. It is time to do something a little bit less demanding,” said Harrison.
Whitbread stated that a process to identity his successor was ‘underway’.
Premier Inn and Costa expansion
The announcement comes as Whitbread today reported an 18.5 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £488.1m for the financial year to 26 February.
Premier Inn saw like-for-like sales grow 9.1 per cent after opening a further 33 UK sites in the past year.
There are plans to grow the brand to around 900 UK hotels and 85,000 rooms by 2020.
The London hotel market remains a key focus of the company, which plans to grow its estate in the capital to 20,000 rooms in the next five years.
Costa reported a six per cent increase in like-for-like sales, with Whitbread planning to reach a total of 2500 UK stores by 2020.
The brand is the fastest growing coffee shop business in the UK, and currently has over 1700 sites. Costa recently launches the UK’s first ‘eco-pod’ coffee shop, designed to trial ways of reducing energy costs in future builds.
Whitbread estimates that achievement of both the Premier Inn and Costa milestones could create 15,000 UK jobs over the next five years.