In January 2020, Peter Wells will take on the new role of group managing director, making him the fifth generation of the family to lead the business, an announcement today (27 September) has confirmed.
Chairman Paul Wells said the business had transformed in recent years, following the 2017 sale of its Eagle Brewery to Marston’s in a £55m deal.
Several brands, including Bombardier, Courage and McEwan’s as well as the distribution rights to Estrella Damm and others products were also sold to Marston’s.
Last year, the company announced it would open a new 30,000hl brewery worth £13m in Bedford to replace the Eagle Brewery, where its flagship beer Charlie Wells will be produced.
Company has transformed
“Our company has transformed in recent years as our strategy has evolved,” said Paul Wells.
“We have been very fortunate to have had Justin’s leadership during this time, an era of profound change in the brewing and pubs world.
“On behalf of the family and all our colleagues I would like to record our appreciation for his huge contribution to the success of the company and wish him well for the future.
“The role of CEO will now disappear and I am delighted that the board has today confirmed Peter Wells into his new role.”
Phillimore said the plan for the company to become a more agile craft brewer and tenanted and manage pub company was nearing its competition.
He added: “With the building of our new home and brewing business making excellent progress, the company direction clearly set and the recruitment for a managed retail director under way, I feel that the time is right to hand the business on to Peter Wells at the start of 2020.
“I have had a wonderful 13 years at Wells & Co as finance director, managing director of the brewing and brand business and, lastly, as chief executive.
“I would like to thank all of my wonderful colleagues and friends in the industry, past and present, for their friendship and support and wish the team and Peter every success for the future.”
The new brewery is scheduled to open next summer, said Peter Wells, while the company would continue to grow its managed business in the UK and France.
There were also plans to continue investing in the Wells & Co Pub Partner estate, he added.