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Caterer Compass names new finance head to steer pandemic recovery

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(Reuters) -Britain's Compass Group said on Monday company veteran Palmer Brown will take over as finance chief to help lead a recovery at the world's largest catering company, replacing Karen Witts who will step down at the end of this month.

Witts, who joined as chief financial officer a year before the COVID-19 pandemic prompted widespread lockdowns around the world, has "mutually agreed" with the board to step down, Compass said.

Brown, who was interim CFO at Compass from 2018 to 2019, has coordinated many of Compass' acquisitions and divestitures, the company said in a statement.

"Palmer has contributed to the success of Compass over many years and his commercial and financial skillset and his deep knowledge of the Group are ideally suited to our next phase of development and growth," Chief Executive Officer Dominic Blakemore said in a statement.

Last month, Compass forecast an upbeat fourth-quarter as sports fans throng stadiums again and students come back to campuses.

The company, however, sounded a cautious note about its business and the industry division, which caters to office workers, as uncertainty persists over the pace of workplace reopenings in its major markets.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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