Heady brew as Adnams unveils first woman CEO

31 Mar, 2024
Suffolk brewing business Adnams has appointed its first women CEO in Jenny Hanlon, who steps up from the Chief Financial Officer role. She will succeed Dr Andy Wood, who is to remain with the business until the end of the year in a consultancy capacity before retiring.
Jenny Hanlon with Dr Andy Wood. Credit – Warren Page / Pagepix.

The appointment follows a long-term succession plan announced last July. It will see Hanlon formally start the role from July 1.

Beginning her career with Ernst & Young, Hanlon became a member of the Adnams Board in 2020, and has previously held senior finance roles with Greene King, Barclays, Willis plc, iprism and GRP Group.

Hanlon said: “This is a hugely exciting time to be taking the reins from Andy. The Adnams brand is cherished and championed by colleagues and customers in its heartland of the East of England, across the wider UK and throughout dozens of countries around the world.

“Looking ahead, what’s important is that we keep evolving and keep innovating – our brand and product portfolio, our brewing, distilling and distribution operations and our estate – while continuing to support our customers, communities and colleagues with the same values and commitments which have served us so well.”

Dr Andy Wood’s career at Adnams spans almost 30 years, including 14 as CEO during which time he led the transformation of the business from a regional brewing company into a diversified beer, wine and spirits company with a pub, hotel and retail estate.

Having been a champion for Adnams’ commitment to sustainability, Dr Wood was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2013 and previously served as HRH The Prince of Wales’ Ambassador for Responsible Business in the East of England.

Dr Wood said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to lead Adnams, a business which has been at the heart of our community in Suffolk for over 150 years. While the markets we operate in continue to face many challenges, I’m confident that Adnams has the vision and values to build on its incredible success story in the years ahead, and to remain a proud innovator in the market.”

Chairman Dr Jonathan Adnams added: “Andy has been a driving force in building Adnams into the business it is today, leading with both principle and professionalism. We will be forever grateful for the lasting impact he has had on Adnams and wish him well for the future.

“Jenny is the ideal candidate to lead us through the next chapter of Adnams’ evolution, both in stabilising our financial footing but also capitalising on Adnams’ unique strengths.”