Pubs and brewery group Adnams has chosen a woman from its own ranks to head it up as its boss of 14 years retires.

Chief financial officer Jenny Hanlon, 48, will become the celebrated Southwold company's first female chief executive when she succeeds Andy Wood on July 1.

Dr Wood will remain with the 150-year-old business until the end of the year in a consultancy role before hanging up his beer mat.

The appointment - approved by the Adnams board on March 28 - follows a long-term succession plan announced last July.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Mrs Hanlon - originally from Hitchin in Hertfordshire - started her career with Ernst & Young, before going on to take up senior finance roles at Greene King, Barclays, Willis plc, iprism and GRP Group. She became a member of the Adnams Board in 2020.

She moved to Suffolk in 2002 and has since taken up various roles with local charities. She is currently treasurer for Aldeburgh Cinema Trust.

“This is a hugely exciting time to be taking the reins from Andy," she said.

“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 Wood - who has been with Adnams almost 30 years - 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. He has also championed its sustainability drive.

He 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.

“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," he said.

“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.”

Adnams chairman Dr Jonathan Adnams OBE said: “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.”

East Anglian Daily Times: