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Fri 16th Nov 2018 - Liberation Group appoints Jonathan Lawson as chief executive
Liberation Group appoints Jonathan Lawson as chief executive: Channel Islands-based brewer and retailer Liberation Group has appointed Jonathan Lawson as chief executive. Lawson has more than 20 years’ experience in the retail and pub sectors and was managing director of Greene King’s Local Pubs division for four years. He replaces outgoing Liberation Group chief executive Mark Crowther, and will start his role on 14 January. Lawson joins from Vision Express, part of GrandVision, where he has served as chief executive since 2011. He has also held senior positions at Sainsbury’s after starting his career on Marks & Spencer’s graduate trainee scheme in 1995. Crowther is leaving Liberation Group after 11 years. The company, which was acquired by Caledonia Investments in 2016, operates two breweries, three distribution businesses and 116 pubs in the West Country and Channel Islands. Since its acquisition, Liberation Group has focused on delivering its growth plan through targeted capital expenditure within the pub estate and acquisitions of individual pubs and groups in the south of England. The strategy has seen it acquire Butcombe Brewery and expand in the West Country. Liberation Group executive chairman Richard Grainger said: “Mark Crowther has contributed significantly to the success of the business and I want to extend the thanks of the board and staff to him. Jonathan Lawson’s wide-ranging executive experience across the leisure sector will enable him to drive the business onward and fulfil the board’s expectations for the group. We look forward to welcoming him into the business.” Lawson added: “It’s a great pleasure to return to the pub sector and I am hugely excited to join Liberation Group. The team has built an excellent business and I look forward to meeting the people, our customers and fully immersing myself in the company. This is a great organisation with clear opportunities ahead and I’m delighted to be leading it through its next period of growth.”

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