Local brewers, Fuller Smith & Turner P.L.C., has announced that Executive Chairman, Anthony Fuller, will become Non-Executive Chairman following the Company’s AGM on the 16th July 2002. At that time, Managing Director, Michael Turner, will take on the role of Chief Executive.

This is the second recent Board room change in recent weeks following the resignation of non-executive director Philip Auger.

Anthony Fuller was appointed Chairman in 1982. For the past twenty years he and his management team have greatly enhanced the Company’s position. Recently the company's performance has faltered. In the last set of results they announced huge write-offs after a venture into a chain of late-night bars went disastrously wrong. Profits before exceptionals fell 11 per cent to £6.4m in the six months to September, while sales increased marginally from £63m to £65.3m. But after tax and a £3.8 million write-off on the disposal of the Broadwalk chain the company was loss-making.

Antony Fuller said, "During my time as Chairman of Fuller’s I have witnessed many changes in the industry. Sadly, today there are far fewer independent regional brewers than there were twenty years ago."

He added, “To be successful we have had to constantly evolve and challenge all that we do, whilst staying true to our underlying principles of quality, service and pride. I have worked with Michael for over ten years and am delighted to handover the reins to an individual who constantly strives for excellence and whom I know will continue to build on the Company’s strengths. "

Michael Turner joined the company in 1978, he became Wines Director in 1980 and then Marketing Director in 1988. He was responsible for developing the current Fuller’s corporate image as well as enhancing the brand image of both the pubs and ale brands. He was appointed Managing Director in 1992 and has worked closely with Anthony Fuller over the past decade.

Michael Turner says, “Over the years, the individual members of the Board of Fuller’s have all benefited from Anthony’s wealth of experience and focused approach. His contribution to both the Company and the Industry is second to none and I very much welcome his continued input going forward.”

A Chiswick based stock market analyst commented, "The shares have recovered well from the debacle of the last results but, given their inability to handle diversification it would have been better to see them bringing in outside expertise rather than keeping things in the family. Minority shareholders are unlikely to get much excitement from this conservative company with the capital structure entrenching existing management. I would be drinking the product as opposed to investing in the shares."

The Cadbury report recommended that the roles of Chief Executive and Chairman should be kept separate prompting some to see this change at Fullers as a backward step in corporate governance.

Fullers ill-fated expansion causes losses

Fullers win Pub Company of the Year