Meakins will join the board on 1 September 2020, and take over as chairman on 1 December 2020 when current chairman Paul Walsh steps down.
Walsh announced his intention to leave back in January, after six years in the role.
“It is a great honour to take on the role of chair at Compass," says Meakins, commenting on his new role
"I look forward to working with Dominic [Blakemore, chief executive] and the executive team to drive forward the Group’s strategy and ensuring that it continues to create significant value for all stakeholders.”
Meakins previously held roles as group CEO at Ferguston PLC, Travelex and Alliance Unichem; senior independent director at Centrica; and non-executive director at 02.
He is also non-executive chairman at Rexel SA.
“After almost seven years as Chairman, with a strong and well-established chief executive in place, it is the right time for me to step down,” adds Walsh.
“Ian has deep experience of B2B and B2C companies and is an outstanding choice to succeed me.
"Compass is a world class business and it has been a privilege to serve as its chairman.”