Whiteside will take up the role on February 4, McMeikan will leave the company after a handover period on March 8.
Whiteside has been a non-executive director of Greggs since 2008 and is currently chief executive of pub company Punch Taverns.
He began his career in retail at Marks & Spencer in 1979, where he spent 20 years, ultimately becoming head of its food business. He was then one of the founding team of online retailer Ocado, serving as joint md from 2000–2004. He was then appointed chief executive of the Thresher Group off-licence chain.
‘Impressed with the team’
Whiteside said: “I joined the Greggs board in 2008 and I have been impressed with the team, which I have got to know well. I look forward to working with them to further develop our strategy.”
Derek Netherton, chairman of Greggs, said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Roger as chief executive.
“Not only has he got considerable management experience in retailing and food but also, as a non-executive director of Greggs during a period of significant change, he has been involved in developing the strategy. He is very well respected within the company and his appointment will enable a smooth transition in what is still a challenging consumer environment.”