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Southwold brewer Adnams names chief financial officer Jenny Hanlon as new CEO, succeeding Dr Andy Wood





The first female chief executive of a Suffolk brewer has spoken of her excitement as she prepares to take the reins.

Jenny Hanlon, 48, will ascend to the top job at Southwold-based Adnams on July 1 – the first woman to take the role in its 150 year history.

Mrs Hanlon, who currently serves as the company’s chief financial officer, will succeed Dr Adam Wood, who has led the company’s since 2010.

Jenny Hanlon has been named as Adnams' new chief executive. Picture: Warren Page/Pagepix
Jenny Hanlon has been named as Adnams' new chief executive. Picture: Warren Page/Pagepix

She laid out her hopes for the future of the company.

Mrs Hanlon said: “This is a hugely exciting time to be taking the reins from Andy.

“The Adnams brand is cherished and championed by colleagues and customers, in its heartland of the East of England, across the wider UK and throughout dozens of countries around the world.

Mrs Hanlon with outgoing chief executive Dr Andy Wood. Picture: Warren Page/Pagepix
Mrs Hanlon with outgoing chief executive Dr Andy Wood. Picture: Warren Page/Pagepix

“Looking ahead, what’s important is that we keep evolving and keep innovating – our brand and product portfolio, our brewing, distilling and distribution operations and our estate – while continuing to support our customers, communities and colleagues with the same values and commitments which have served us so well.”

The decision to name Mrs Hanlon the new chief executive was approved by its board today.

Originally from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Mrs Hanlon started her career with Ernst & Young. She has also had finance roles at giants such as Greene King, Barclays, Willis plc, iprism and GRP Group.

She became a member of Adnams’ board in 2020.

She will ascend to the role on July 1. Picture: Warren Page/Pagepix
She will ascend to the role on July 1. Picture: Warren Page/Pagepix

Mrs Hanlon moved to Suffolk in 2002 and has also held roles in support of charities and is treasurer for Aldeburgh Community Trust.

Outgoing chief executive Dr Wood worked for Adnams for more than 30 years.

Under his leadership, the firm expanded from a regional brewer to a national beer, wine and spirits company with a pub, hotel and other retail estate in its portfolio.

He was awarded an OBE for his efforts in 2013 and served as The Prince of Wales’ Ambassador for Responsible Business in the East of England.

He described it as ‘an honour and a privilege’ to have led the firm

Dr Wood added: “While the markets we operate in continue to face many challenges, I’m confident that Adnams has the vision and values to build on its incredible success story in the years ahead, and to remain a proud innovator in the market.”

He will transition to a consultancy role before departing at the end of the year.

Dr Jonathan Adnams, the chairman of the brewer, said Dr Wood was a driving force in building Adnams into the business it was today.

He said: “He has lead with both principle and professionalism.

“We will be forever grateful for the lasting impact he has had on Adnams and wish him well for the future.

“Jenny is the ideal candidate to lead us through the next chapter of Adnams’ evolution, both in stabilising our financial footing but also capitalising on Adnams’ unique strengths.”