Jonathan Neame, the chief executive of Kent-based brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame, is to become the new chairman of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).
Neame's appointment follows the departure of Molson Coors chief executive Mark Hunter, who is taking up a role as head of a new, Europe-based business unit following Molson Coors' acquisition of StarBev. A handover will take place before the end of June.
Neame is currently a BBPA vice-chairman and executive board member and moves from his current role as chairman of the BBPA's future beer group, where he has led the BBPA's high-profile campaigning against excessive beer tax rises, and its championing of beer as a category.
Neame joined his family company in 1991. He was company secretary until 1999 when he was appointed managing director. He became chief executive in 2003. He is a barrister and was a managing consultant with COBA Group from 1987 to 1991. He is also a non-executive director of the St Austell brewery company.
Neame said: "In Britain we should all cherish and celebrate the role of beer and pubs. They are vital to the country's economic, social and cultural life and with the right support should be a driver of growth, investment and job creation. I am passionate about the industry and honoured to step into the role at this time."
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds added: "I am delighted to welcome Jonathan as our new chairman. He brings huge experience of brewing and pubs. He is already a great champion of British beer, and also of the need for the industry to work closely together to ensure our voice carries weight with Government."
Stefan Orlowski (Heineken UK managing director) is to become BBPA vice-chairman and Paul Wells (chief executive, Charles Wells) a BBPA director.
By Neil Gerrard
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