Berry Bros chairman retires after 40 years

19th June, 2017 by Nicola Carruthers

Britain’s oldest wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros & Rudd has announced its chairman Simon Berry will retire in December after 40 years at the company.

Chairman Simon Berry will retire on 1 December  after 40 year at the company

Berry will officially retire on 1 December 2017 and will be succeeded by deputy chairman Lizzy Rudd.

Berry joined the family business in 1977 after working in wineries in France and studying for wine and marketing qualifications.

He was appointed marketing director in 1987 and joined the main board in 1994.

During this time, he instigated the launch of the duty free shops at Heathrow in 1994 – the first instances of a wine merchant operating in such outlets.

Berry then set up the company’s business in Hong Kong in 1999 – the first of many British Wine Merchants to open an office in the East Asia.

In 1994, Berry oversaw the development of their first website – the first wine company to launch online – and created the Berrys’ Events and Education operations in 2000.

“It has been a great honour to have worked at Berry Bros & Rudd since 1977, and to have been chairman since 2005,” said Berry.

“However I’ve always believed that the right time to retire is not when you’re ready but when your successors are ready, and that time is now.

“It’s been a joy to be part of something so special for so many years and I know I’m leaving the business in the best possible hands.”

Berry was involved in the recent transformation of No.3 St James’s Street and the development of the company’s new shop at 63 Pall Mall.

In addition, Berry is a council member at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), as well as chairing their Development Board. He will be able to devote more time to RADA, as they gear up for a major campaign. Retirement will also provide him with time to start writing novels, plays and screenplays.

Berry will continue to be involved in the business, serving on the Family Board and curating the company archives to preserve the stories from the past 300 years.

Rudd added: “It has been a privilege to work alongside Simon for so many years, developing the strategy and focus for the business to ensure its success continues over the next 300 years. I speak on behalf of the business as well as both the Berry and Rudd families when I say we will miss Simon’s daily presence immensely.

“With the support of Dan Jago, as well as Geordie Willis and my brother Edward Rudd, I look forward to chairing the company in this exciting new chapter.”

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