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Thu 11th Mar 2021 - Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay to step down after two decades in charge
Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay to step down after two decades in charge: Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay is to step down at the end of the current financial year ending 30 September 2021. The process to appoint his successor is underway and a further announcement will be made in due course. William Rucker, chairman of Marston’s, said: “Ralph has been chief executive of Marston’s since 2001 and is one of the longest serving business leaders in an industry which has seen significant change and challenges during that time. Ralph is widely respected and admired by all those in the hospitality industry and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him over the last three years. He has overseen the development of Marston’s into one of the leading pub companies in the UK, through operational innovation to drive change and also transforming the business through strategic acquisition. Most recently, Ralph was instrumental in the formation of the joint venture with Carlsberg UK and the agreement to operate the SA Brain pub estate in Wales. He has guided the company through this last extremely challenging year to ensure it is ready to re-open as a purely focused pub operator with a substantially strengthened balance sheet, a 40% stake in Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company and a clear strategic vision for the future. Throughout his tenure with the company, Ralph has shown his dedication, passion and ambition in leading its people in a way that embodies Marston’s unique culture and he will be greatly missed by his colleagues and fellow board members alike. He leaves Marston’s in excellent shape and well-positioned to rebuild trading and go from strength to strength when restrictions are lifted. Whilst he remains in his role for another six months, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him publicly on behalf of the board, our people and our shareholders for his outstanding contribution to us, the company and the industry.” Ralph Findlay added: “It has been a great privilege to lead Marston’s for 20 years. I joined the board in 1996 and have been fortunate to work with many inspirational, talented and dedicated colleagues in an industry which is very close to my heart. Looking ahead to reopening and welcoming customers back into our wonderful pubs, I am confident that we have great people, a fantastic team in place and that my successor will enjoy working with them and the board to take this great company forward to the next phase of its development.”

Propel to improve Premium service with publication of monthly database of multi-site operators for subscribers: Propel is to improve its service for Premium subscribers by publishing a monthly updated list of multi-site operators – with a standalone report. The new multi-site list will be sent to subscribers at the end of each month with a report on new companies and changes in the list. A refreshed list of circa 1,600 companies will be sent out to all Premium subscribers at the end of March. It provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different, and what each business specialises in. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. The list will then be updated at the end of each month. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “Many of our readers regard this as the most comprehensive guide to the multi-site world available in the UK. We are now going to improve this service by updating the list each month.” Propel Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out, discounts to attend Propel conferences and events, and regular columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. An annual premium subscription costs £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers. Email

City Pub Group hires Emma Fox as independent non-executive director: The City Pub Group, the owner and operator of 48 premium pubs across Southern England and Wales and a further four development sites, has hired Emma Fox as an independent non-executive director with immediate effect. The company stated: “Emma is an exceptionally experienced director with over 30 years of experience in the retail, leisure, and drinks sectors. Emma is currently chief executive of Berry Bros & Rudd, the oldest wine and spirit merchant in the UK. She was appointed as chief executive in 2020, having served an independent non-executive director since 2017, to help guide the business through its next phase of growth. Emma joined Berry Bros & Rudd from The Original Factory Shop where she also held the role of chief executive. Previously, Emma held several senior management and divisional board roles at large retailers including commercial director at Halfords, chief marketing officer at Walmart Canada and commercial and logistics director roles at ASDA. Emma also has extensive hospitality and leisure experience having worked with Hollywood Bowl as marketing director, Bass Brewers and as a non-executive director at Punch Taverns Plc. Whilst at Walmart, Emma chaired Walmart’s global diversity and inclusion council which set the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy across 28 countries. Emma is chair of the board of Hotaling & Co based in San Francisco and is also a steward and liveryman with the Worshipful Company of Distillers.” Clive Watson, executive chairman of City Pub Group said: “We are delighted to welcome Emma to the board of City Pub Group to help bring her insight and experience as the company looks to take advantage of growth opportunities post-pandemic. Emma is the latest addition to evolve and strengthen our board for the exciting journey ahead. Emma has a wealth of experience, particularly in marketing and diversity in businesses, something which City Pub Group is determined to excel in and an area which we feel is critical for future success. We believe the long-term growth opportunity for the business is strong and Emma will form a crucial part of the board that will guide and help us achieve our goals.”

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