Bury St Edmunds: Greene King names Matthew Fearn as new finance chief

PUBS and brewing group Greene King revealed yesterday that group finance director Ian Bull is to leave the company to become chief financial officer at international betting group Ladbrokes.

Mr Bull will leave Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King following the announcement of its annual results on June 30, and will be succeeded by Matthew Fearn, currently chief finance officer at food service group Brakes.

Mr Fearn, 46, who will join Greene King on September 1, has been with Brakes since 2007 and has extensive experience with listed companies in the leisure sector, having previously held senior financial roles at DeVere Group and Whitbread. He also served as a non-executive director at Chelmsford-based drinks group Britvic ahead of its flotation in 2006.

Mr Bull, 49, joined Greene King as group finance director in January 2006 from BT Retail, where he spent four years as chief financial officer followed by two as chief executive, enterprises. Before joining BT, he held senior financial positions within Disney and Whitbread.

Greene King said Mr Bull had played an important role in driving the group’s performance and would leave it “in a strong position both financially and operationally”.

Rooney Anand, Greene King’s chief executive, said: “Since joining us five years ago, Ian has played a key part in Greene King’s ongoing success and development against a demanding backdrop for the industry.

“Ian will be staying until the announcement of our results in June after which he will leave with our sincere thanks and very best wishes for the future.

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“At the same time, I am very pleased that Matthew Fearn is joining the team. Matthew has extensive experience in consumer-facing leisure and food businesses and we look forward to him helping us continue to drive our exciting growth and development plans.”

Mr Bull said he was looking forward to “bringing my knowledge and experience to the new Ladbrokes team to help the business deliver its plans for growth in what is a very competitive market.”

Richard Glynn, Ladbrokes’ chief executive, added: “We selected Ian after an extensive search because he brings a wealth of knowledge within a regulated leisure sector.”