Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company, is today pleased to announce the appointment of Colin Rutherford as the company’s new Executive Chairman. 

Colin, 62, is an experienced Chairman and Non-Executive Director and has many years of relevant experience in the pub and hospitality sector, including at Mitchells & Butlers plc where he has been a Non-Executive Director for 8 years.

Colin has taken up his position effective immediately, and joins CEO Mark Davies, Matt Ward (CFO), Edith Monfries (COO) and Ken Buckley (Non-Executive Director) on the Hawthorn Board creating a highly experienced and credible team. 

Mark Davies, CEO of Hawthorn, said: “Colin will be an outstanding Executive Chairman and I know we will make a formidable team working closely together in a sector we both have a true passion for. 

“Colin brings a lot of industry knowledge and corporate finance experience to our Board and is very alive and ambitious to the opportunities ahead and I’m delighted with this important appointment.”

Colin Rutherford, Executive Chairman of Hawthorn, said: “Having worked in this sector for a long time I’m fortunate to have seen first-hand what the business is all about, and what the Hawthorn Board is capable of achieving. In Mark and the rest of the Management team, Hawthorn have a strong, dynamic leadership, with a clear ambition for growth, and I’m looking forward to working with them all at such an exciting time for the business.”

Hawthorn owns more than 700 pubs across England, Scotland and Wales. In addition to its tenanted and leased pubs, which account for 80% of the Hawthorn business, the group also has a well-established, successful and scalable Operator-Managed division, which accounts for 20% of the estate.

With a focus on well-located community and suburban pubs, the Hawthorn estate is well placed to benefit from consumers working from home and using their local services and facilities. Hawthorn expects its pubs to lead a strong bounce back, as seen in the summer of 2020 when on re-opening Hawthorn pubs outperformed the sector.

Throughout the pandemic, Hawthorn’s focus has been on continuing to protect and support its people and pubs. The business has maintained significant support to its partners and operators and this was recently recognised by topping the KAM media’s ‘Licensee Index’, the leading sentiment tracker for the UK licensed and tenanted pub sector. Hawthorn’s overall rating in this index at  8.5 out of 10  was the highest, and further in the area of Covid-related support specifically, Hawthorn scored 9.2 out of 10, also the highest amongst the National Pub Owning Companies. 

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