Tuppen, who will leave the company in May 2014 after completing a handover, has been chief executive of the company for more than 20 years, having founded the business in 1991 before its listing on the London Stock Exchange in 1995.
Under his leadership, ETI has grown into the largest operator of leased and tenanted pubs in the UK, with a portfolio that comprises some 5,500 properties valued at £4bn.
The company said that following a comprehensive review of internal and external candidates, the board has agreed to appoint Townsend as chief executive with effect from 6 February 2014.
Townsend joined the business in 1999, was appointed to the board in 2000 and has been chief operating officer of ETI for seven years. He has worked in the pub and leisure industry for over 25 years across a number of operational, commercial, marketing and sales roles.
Robert Walker, chairman said: “Since founding ETI over 20 years ago, Ted has built one of the leading pub companies in the UK. He leaves Enterprise in a strong financial position with improved like-for-like trading and a clear strategy, which is delivering for our Publicans and our shareholders. On behalf of the Board and everyone at Enterprise, I would like to thank Ted for his outstanding contribution to the company and the wider pub sector. He will be greatly missed and we wish him well for the future.
"Simon is highly regarded in the pubs sector. He was the unanimous choice to succeed Ted as chief executive. Simon will have the support of a strong management team including finance director, Neil Smith, and I am confident that under Simon’s leadership the company will continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead."
Tuppen said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Enterprise and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved. It has been a privilege to work with such a great team of colleagues and I am thankful to them all for their support and hard work over the years. I am confident that under Simon’s leadership, the company is in very good hands for the future."
Townsend said: "I am very excited to take on the chief executive role and determined to ensure that we maintain the positive momentum and improved trading we report today. The business is in great shape, having come through some of the most challenging economic trading conditions we have ever seen.
"We will remain focused on returning the business to growth, investing in and enhancing the quality of our estate and providing the highest quality support to our publicans."