Former WHSmith boss Kate Swann has been appointed chief executive of SSP, which operates food and beverage brands in travel locations.

Swann, who takes up the position on September 4, succeeds Andrew Lynch who will stand down after nine years in the role. 

Swann had been tipped to take on a big role in retail after standing down from WHSmith on June 30, and had been linked with retailers including Marks and Spencer.

Swann, who led WHSmith for 10 years, said: “I am delighted to be joining SSP and look forward to working with the team as we continue to grow the business and deliver for our customers.”

SSP chairman Vagn Soerensen said: “I very much look forward to working with Kate to continue developing SSP in the years to come.  SSP will benefit from Kate’s vast retail experience from WHSmith in accelerating growth and working with business partners, while continuously improving the customer experience.”

Soerensen added: “Andrew has done a great job in building SSP into an international market leader in its sector. The strength of both the management team and brand portfolio leaves the business very well positioned for further growth. We wish him every success in the future.”