The pub chain previously stated it would promote staff, saying more pub experience at the top level would be beneficial to the business.
After receiving more than 100 applications four appointments have been made – two as employee-directors with full PLC director status, and two as associate employee-directors. The appointments are effective from today (20 December) and have been made for an initial three-year term.
JDW chairman Tim Martin said: “A successful pub company depends primarily on gradual improvements, based on suggestions from employees.”
Input from the ‘front line’
He continued: “Pub and area managers, and other members of pub teams, have always participated in weekly decision-making meetings, which distil suggestions from the ‘front line’.
“The appointment of employee directors will extend this approach to board meetings and will help to preserve the culture of the company for the future.”
The employee-directors are Debbie Whittingham, regional manager for the West Midlands, and Hudson Simmons, area manager for Sheffield.
Whittingham joined JDW as a shift manager in 1992 and was appointed as a pub manager in 1993 and as an area manager in 2002. She is chair of the company’s Women’s Network Group and was named JDW ‘Area Manager of the Year’ in 2014.
Simmons joined JDW as a shift manager in 1997, was appointed as a pub manager in 2003 and as an area manager in 2014. In 2010, he was named ‘Pub Manager of the Year’.
The associate employee-directors are Will Fotheringham, regional manager for the Manchester area, and Emma Gibson, pub manager of the Imperial, Exeter.
Fotheringham joined JDW as a shift manager in 1998, was appointed as a pub manager in 2000 and as an area manager in 2006. He was awarded ‘Area Manager of the Year’ in 2011 and Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers ‘Area Manager of the Year’ in 2013.
Gibson joined JDW as a bar associate in 2004 and was appointed as a pub manager in 2010. She is chair of the ‘Best Bar None’ groups for Torquay and Exeter and, in 2019, received the Commissioner’s Award from the Police and Crime Commissioner of Devon & Cornwall Police for services to Best Bar None.