UK: Marston CEO Ralph Findlay to step down after 20 years

The board of pub group Marston’s has been advised by Ralph Findlay of his intention to step down from the role of CEO 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. The group did not give a reason for his departure.

Mr. Findlay has been CEO 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,” according to William Rucker, Chairman of Marston’s in a press release today.

Especially in the last 10 months the company has undergone a radical restructuring process. Last May Marston’s and Carlsberg UK announced to combine their both businesses and form a new, joint venture beer company, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company worth about GBP 780 million (USD 950m). (, 22.5.2020)

In October, the company announced to axe 2,150 jobs in order to save costs after the government imposed closures of pubs and restaurants to curb the spike in Covid-19 cases.

In December, Wales’ biggest and still family-owned brewer S.A. Brain & Co Ltd handed over its 156 pubs on a combination of leased and management arrangements to Marston’s. (, 23.12.2020)

And lastly it is just one month ago that Marston’s rejected an unsolicited offer for its business from Platinum Equity Advisors, a Beverly Hills, California-based private equity group. (, 1.2.2021)

Mr. Rucker, commented: "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 commented: "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.”

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