JAMES Lambert, one of Yorkshire’s best known entrepreneurs, has announced that he has decided to retire from his role as non-executive chairman of R&R Ice Cream.
Under Mr Lambert’s leadership, R&R has become the second largest take-home ice cream manufacturer in Europe and the largest private label ice cream manufacturer in the region.
A company spokesman said: “After a life-long commitment to the company he co-founded in 1987, James intends to pursue other interests. His retirement follows a period of transition which saw him step down from his role as CEO in the summer of 2013 while retaining the role of chairman.”
He will remain a significant shareholder in the company, which is based in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire.
The spokesman added: “James had planned his succession with Ibrahim Najafi, before the acquisition of the business by PAI, and Ibrahim became CEO of R&R Ice Cream in July 2013.”
Mr Najafi said: “James leaves the company in a very strong position; as a co-founder, he was instrumental in developing the business from the very start, making it one of the leaders in the European ice-cream market. It has been a pleasure working with him over the last 16 years and we wish him all the best in his new endeavours. I know that I speak for everyone who has worked with James at R&R that it has been a great experience working with, and learning from him. James is one of life’s natural entrepreneurs and I am sure that he will make a huge contribution to the businesses that he works with.” Mr Lambert said: “I feel now is the right time to complete the handover of the reins to Ibrahim and his team as they look to pursue R&R’s growth over the coming years. They know the business extremely well and are the right people to take the business forward.”
Mr Lambert received the individual award at the Yorkshire Post’s 2012 Excellence in Business Awards, and he represented the UK at the recent EY World Entrepreneur of the Year awards.