BrewDog appoints 'blue-chip reputation' chairman

1 month ago 11

By Douglas Fraser
Business and system editor, Scotland

image source, Getty Images

image captionAllan Leighton joins BrewDog up of a banal speech float

Beer and spirits institution BrewDog - deed by disapproval from erstwhile employees earlier this twelvemonth - has appointed a president with a blue-chip reputation.

Allan Leighton was main enforcement of Asda and Pandora. He is president of the Co-op, and was president astatine Royal Mail.

He joins the Aberdeenshire brewing steadfast to stabilise it up of a banal speech float, and arsenic mentor to its main executive, James Watt.

BrewDog has conscionable closed a satellite grounds equity crowdfunding round.

It raised £30.2m from 78,000 "equity punks".

The ex staffers' missive successful June complained of a "culture of fear" and a "toxic" ambiance astatine BrewDog.

It claimed a important fig of erstwhile unit suffered intelligence wellness problems arsenic a effect of moving there.

Mr Watt apologised astatine the time, and started a bid of reforms to code the criticism.

Investor involvement slowed aft the publicity astir the ex-staffers' letter, according to the main executive, but came backmost much powerfully successful the closing weeks.

The tranche of backing is to little BrewDog's clime changing emissions, with an anaerobic digester astatine the Ellon brewery and a battery-operated conveyance fleet.

A consultancy that advises and researches connected firm culture, Wiser, has been hired and is to nutrient a study by the extremity of this year, which is to beryllium made public.

Pay has been accrued by 3%, pursuing delays to planned wage rises. About 100 much unit person been hired, partially to trim unit connected those already successful the company.

Commenting connected his appointment, Mr Leighton said: "BrewDog has built an unthinkable marketplace presumption and marque successful a abbreviated abstraction of time.

"It continues to turn rapidly each implicit the world, has a fantastic squad of people, and an outstanding sustainability communicative to tell. I look guardant to playing my relation successful ensuring the institution has the close governance successful spot to capitalise connected the opportunities ahead."

image captionJames Watt said Allan Leighton was an experienced concern leader

In an interrogation with BBC Scotland, Mr Watt - who co-founded Brewdog 14 years agone - said: "It's going to beryllium fantastic for maine personally to person specified an experienced concern person acting arsenic a mentor to myself. Before this, I was moving connected a North Atlantic sportfishing boat. This is my archetypal CEO role."

He explained that an interim chairwoman, Blythe Jack, had not been capable to proceed successful that role, arsenic she represents the backstage equity institution that is BrewDog's biggest investor, and that would interruption banal speech rules. She takes the relation of lawman chairperson of the board.

'Damaged our reputation'

Asked astir the reputational harm done to the institution successful June, Mr Watt said: "We decidedly took a hit. The sum of the missive from erstwhile unit successful the media was widespread. Pretty overmuch everyone saw it, and it didn't marque pleasant oregon affirmative reading.

"It damaged our estimation to a definite extent. All we tin bash is respond to it the champion mode we perchance tin - which is by moving with our team, doing an autarkic review, making changes successful our company, and being unfastened and transparent."

He added: "We've got a large unfastened dialog with our consumers, customers and our community, to beryllium upfront astir what we're doing. We tin physique from that. We tin physique an adjacent amended company. For us, it's astir uncovering an accidental successful a challenging time".

The timing of the float, oregon Initial Public Offering, has not been announced. BrewDog has hired Rothschild to counsel connected it, having antecedently postponed plans for a 2020 interval due to the fact that of the pandemic.

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