Simon Berry to retire

19th June, 2017 by Rupert Millar

Simon Berry is to retire as the chairman of Berry Bros & Rudd this December, it has been announced.

Simon Berry

Berry, who has been working for the family company for 40 years and acted as chairman for the last 12 years, will step down on 1 December this year and be replaced by current deputy chairman, Lizzy Rudd. It was also announced that Berry has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with a CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) for services rendered to the Royal Household Wine Committee since 1994. He continues to serve as clerk of the Royal Cellars.

Berry commented on his time at the helm of Britain’s oldest fine wine merchant: “It has been a great honour to have worked at Berry Bros & Rudd since 1977, and to have been chairman since 2005. However I’ve always believed that the right time to retire is not when you’re ready but when your successors are ready, and that time is now.

“It’s been a joy to be part of something so special for so many years and I know I’m leaving the business in the best possible hands”.

Much has changed under Berry’s management: in 1994 BBR opened duty free shops at Heathrow and launched its first website, in 1999 it began its first foray into Asia, in 2000 Berry was behind the creation of BBR’s events and education programme and in 2010 he launched BB&R Press which has printed Jasper Morris MW’s Inside Burgundy among other titles.

Berry plans to pursue his original vocation as a writer and says retirement will allow him to branch away from wine writing to finally start on the novels, plays and screenplays he has had in mind for many years.

He will continue to be involved with the business as he serves on the family board.

Lizzy Rudd added: “It has been a privilege to work alongside Simon for so many years, developing the strategy and focus for the business to ensure its success continues over the next 300 years. I speak on behalf of the business as well as both the Berry and Rudd families when I say we will miss Simon’s daily presence immensely.

“With the support of Dan Jago (chief executive), as well as Geordie Willis (creative director and eighth generation Berry) and my brother Edward Rudd (finance transformation director), I look forward to Chairing the company in this exciting new chapter”.

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