Flynn is presently chief executive of Aegis, one of Europe’s largest media services groups. In his five years with the company, Aegis has doubled in size, and been transformed from a European media buying business to a marketing services group employing 10,500 staff in 60 countries.

Rentokil has been looking for a chief executive since July 2004 when James Wilde departed after two months in the post.

Last October chairman Brian McGowan announced that Rentokil Initial had decided to dispose of the linen and garment elements of its UK hygiene business. In addition, the company is also considering its options in respect of its loss-making hospital textiles business in Germany.