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Berry Bros & Rudd. chairman to step down

Published:  19 June, 2017

The long-running chairman of London-based wine and spirit merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd is due to step down from the role.

Simon Berry will pass on the baton in December after 12 years as chairman as part of a semi-retirement from the wine and spirits business, the company said.

He will be replaced by current deputy chairman Lizzy Rudd.

Berry joined the company, which is one of Britain’s longest running family-owned wine and spirits merchants, in 1977 after a number of years working in wineries in France.

He was appointed marketing director in 1987 and joined the main board in 1994.

He is credited for driving several successful initiatives for the company over the years, including the launch of the first ever duty-free wine shop at Heathrow.

This was the catalyst for the company’s expansion into Asia, which Berry also spearheaded, setting up the company’s business in Hong Kong in 1999.

He will continue to be involved in the company going forward, continuing his duties on the family board and curating the company’s archives.

The winding-down of his involvement in the wine and spirits industry will enable him to devote more time to his involvement in the arts, including the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) where he is a council member and also chair of their Development Board.

The announcement comes after he was included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this weekend.

Berry received a CVO (Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) for services to the Royal Household Wine Committee, and also for his post as Clerk of the Royal Cellars, which he continues to hold.

He now plans to pursue his original vocation as a writer, branching away from writing about wine to turn his hand to novels, plays and screenplays.