Overall ranking: 64
Pub ranking: 6
Ted Tuppen - Snapshot
Ted Tuppen is chief executive of Enterprise Inns, the UK’s second largest pub operator, with an estate of more than 7,000 leased and tenanted pubs. Having founded the business in 1991 and presided over its expansion through a series of acquisitions, he now finds himself taking the industry lead in defence of the tied pub model.
In the six months to 31 March 2010, the company reported profit before tax and exceptional items of £86m on EBITDA of £204m.
Ted Tuppen - Career guide
Ted Tuppen was born in 1952 and trained as a chartered accountant. He worked with accountants KPMG in London, North America and Europe and, after gaining an MBA from the Cranfield School of Management, became managing director of a privately owned engineering company.
Tuppen moved into the pub sector in 1991, when he led the management buy-in of 372 pubs from Bass that marked the birth of Enterprise Inns. He is a former chairman of the British Beer & Pub Association and was appointed CBE in the 2006 New Year Honours list for services to the hospitality industry.
Ted Tuppen - What we think
Whatever else might be said of Ted Tuppen, any suggestion that the chief executive of Enterprise Inns lacks the courage of his convictions would be unfounded. The past year or so has seen the company’s business model and, by extension, the man at the helm come under intense scrutiny.
In response to a well run lobbying campaign on behalf of a group of disgruntled tenants and lessees, last year Parliament's Business and Enterprise Committee (BEC) launched an investigation into the tied pub sector. Inevitably, many of those complaining ran pubs owned by Enterprise Inns and its rival Punch Taverns - between them the two own more than 25% of the nation’s pubs and about 40% of leased and tenanted outlets.
Tuppen and Enterprise Inns chief operating officer Simon Townsend, along with Giles Thorley of Punch, were the star turns in verbal-evidence hearings held by the BEC. The pubco bosses were criticised for giving evidence that, according to the BEC report, “proved to give a partial picture”. Later in the year MP Greg Mulholland weighed in, complaining to the Speaker in the House of Commons about Enterprise Inns’ “incredible litigiousness” in pursuing critics.
Through what has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult periods of his career, Tuppen has been robust in defence of both the business he created and the leased pub model. His response to the BEC report was to say: “When we look at the work that takes place on a day-to-day basis with those who run our pubs we just do not recognise the committee's allegations, which we believe are unsupportable.”
There is independent evidence for this view. In May Enterprise Inns won the Supreme Award in the British Institute of Innkeeping's National Innkeeping Training Awards for its Wilma training programme for lessees. In February the company was awarded the Gold Standard by Investors in People.
The industry has been given time to show that it can redress the perceived imbalance between pubco and lessee. Enterprise has developed new, more flexible lease terms and says it continues to attract record numbers of applicants.
After 20 years in charge at Enterprise there has been City speculation that Tuppen may be thinking about succession plans. Whatever moment he picks to call last orders, it’s safe to say it will be one of his own choosing.
Ted Tuppen – Further information