Suntory Holdings Ltd. is set to appoint the chairman of convenience store operator Lawson Inc. as its president, the first time someone from outside the founding family of the century-old brewer and distiller has been chosen to fill that post.

Takeshi Niinami will step into the role on Oct. 1, the firm's current president said Tuesday. By choosing the 55-year-old, Suntory hopes to accelerate its business expansion, sources said.

The current chairman and president, 68-year-old Nobutada Saji, is expected to focus on his role as chairman.