Portman Group announces new chief executive

The Portman Group has announced that Matt Lambert will replace John Timothy as chief executive in January 2021.

Timothy has spent three-and-a-half years in the role after taking over from Henry Ashworth in the summer of 2017.

The Portman Group, an industry-funded social responsibility and regulatory body for the UK market, has added Asahi UK, Aston Manor, Campari, SHS Drinks and Thatcher’s as members during his tenure.

Lambert is currently the chief executive at the Federation for Industry Sector, Skills and Standards. He has previously held senior roles at a number of large corporations including Microsoft and Betfair, which is now part of Flutter Entertainment.

He said: “The Group’s value to the alcohol sector is clear. It has a long and honourable history of effective regulation which has ensured the industry has always remained socially responsible, even in the face of major challenges.

“I look forwarding to being a part of shaping the sector and, more immediately, to celebrating 25 years of the Code, a key element in the Portman Group’s work.”

There has been a shake-up at The Portman Group this year, with Philip Rycroft announced as the new chair over the summer and Nicola Williams taking over as chair of the Independent Complaints Panel.

Rycroft said: “Matt is a fantastic hire who brings a wide range of experience and a great track record to the role.

“Matt joins the Portman Group at a critical time, not least as the industry faces up to the challenges arising from the impact of COVID-19. I look forward to working with him to shape the future of the Portman Group, to expand our membership and to work with the alcohol industry to deliver its social responsibilities.

“With Matt joining, we are saying goodbye to John who has been invaluable to the Group. He was brought in to refocus and enhance the organisation and has done so successfully; he should be immensely proud of the achievements made during his tenure and on behalf of all members, I’d like to thank him for all that he has done.”

Gordon Johncox, chief executive at Aston Manor, added: “Matt was the unanimous choice to lead the Portman Group into the future and we look forward to working with him to maintain the UK’s respected high standards of self-regulation of the alcohol industry.”