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The Portman Group announces new CEO

The Portman Group, the social and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, has announced the appointment of its new CEO.

Matt Lambert will take up the post from January 2021, bringing with him extensive experience in management and corporate affairs. He has held roles at large companies including Microsoft and Betfair and is currently the CEO of the Federation for Industry Sector, Skills and Standards.

He replaces incumbent CEO John Timothy, who announced his intention to step down earlier this year. His appointment follows a number of additions to the Portman Group senior team this year, including Philip Rycroft as chairman and Nicola Williams as chairwoman of the independent complaints panel.

Philip, who led the search for a new CEO, said: "Matt is a fantastic hire who brings a wide range of experience and a great track record to the role. He 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."

During his time in post, John Timothy has overseen the consultation and publication of the sixth edition of the Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks and delivered an increase in membership with Asahi UK, Aston Manor, Campari, SHS Drinks and cider brand Thatcher's all joining in 2020.

Philip added: "John 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."

Of his appointment, Matt Lambert said: "I am delighted to be joining the Portman Group at this critical time for the alcohol industry and sharing my vision and ambition for the organisation with the members and the team. 

"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 forward 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."

7 December 2020 - Bethany Whymark