Kennedy is currently chief financial officer of ARM Holdings, which he joined in September, and before that was group finance director for EasyJet.
His appointment is effective from 1 March 2016 and it is intended that it will take over from Simon Melliss as chairman of the audit committee from 1 October 2016.
Richard Baker, chairman at Whitbread, said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Chris Kennedy as a non-executive director. As well as having a strong financial background, his recent experience in an online, international, consumer-facing business, with pricing models similar to those at Premier Inn, will add significant value to the Whitbread board.
“I would also like to thank Simon for his much-valued contribution to the Whitbread board and audit committee, during a very successful and exciting period in the company's history.”