Brewery looks for a new boss after MD decides to retire

Charles Dent
Charles Dent
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ONE of the most prestigious names in brewing is looking for a new boss after the managing director of Timothy Taylor announced his retirement yesterday.

Charles Dent, who joined the family-owned brewery as a non-executive director in 1980, has been the head of the company since 1995.

He will step down from the role and become chairman of the firm, which brews cask beers including Landlord, following its annual general meeting in December this year.

In the meantime, the brewer has appointed London-based headhunter Clarity to search for a new chief executive.

It will be the first time someone from outside of the family will take the top role.

Mr Dent took over from his father-in-law, John Taylor, when he retired at the age of 78.

He said: “I will be 65 in June and I don’t want to do what my father-in-law did. It’s time for someone else to pick up the baton and run with it for a while.

“We hope we can find someone who fits in with the family and the culture of the business. They have got to understand the family aspect and culture of Timothy Taylor.”

Timothy Taylor is one of the UK’s oldest family owned breweries with over 155 years’ heritage 
of brewing award winning cask ales.

Established in 1858 when it began brewing in Keighley, the company remains in the Taylor family.

Initially, the incoming chief executive will work closely with Mr Dent to understand the heritage and key drivers of the business and subsequently develop a future strategy.

In the last five years, the business has invested about £12m, expanding and modernising the plant, storage and lorry depot.

Mr Dent said: “My father-in-law left a very good business – the disciplines in brewing and finances were very strong. Since then we have made it ready for the 21st Century and it’s all been built by Yorkshire firms, which I’m very proud of.”

Mr Dent said Timothy Taylor uses the very best, original, ingredients to stand out from the competition by creating a premium product.

In the 1970s, a third of the company’s trade was done in its own pubs and two thirds in working men’s clubs. Now the beer is sold all over the UK and less than five per cent is through its pubs.

A recent phenomenon is bottled beer. The firm sold 100,000 cases last year and expects to more than double that figure to 250,000 in 2014.

When asked what has been the highlight of his time, Mr Dent replied: “It has all been fun.”