Adnams saves seat at the top table for leading businesswoman

Karen Hester to join Adnams Board as Executive Director. Picture: Sarah Groves

Karen Hester to join Adnams Board as Executive Director. Picture: Sarah Groves - Credit: Archant

A businesswoman championed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) for her support to female employees has been made an executive director of Adnams.

Karen Hester will join the main board of the Southwold-based brewer and distiller from April next year where she will oversee the company's brewery, distillery, hotels, pubs and shops.

Last year, Mrs Hester won the CBI First Women Business of the Year, following an accolade in 2008 when she was crowned East of England Business Woman of the Year.

She said: 'Adnams is a fantastic company which firmly believes in nurturing and developing its own people. I joined Adnams some 26 years ago and have been positively encouraged and supported throughout my career. I feel honoured and extremely proud to be the first female executive director to join the board and am looking forward to continuing to support others to develop their own careers.'

Mrs Hester joined Adnams in 1988 as a part-time cleaner and with a background in Army logistics and transport.


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Quickly progressing, she eventually became operations director in 2007 and is now responsible for more than 400 staff.

Jonathan Adnams, chairman of the EDP Top100 company, said: 'Karen has a superb proven track-record for her management of all areas of our business. She is well-respected throughout the organisation and we look forward to her joining the main board.' Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams, added: 'I am absolutely delighted for Karen, she has the tenacity and talent that has been allowed to flourish here at Adnams and is a terrific role model for others. Following the appointments of Bridget McIntyre and Nicky Dulieu, Karen will be the third woman to join our Main Board and will be our first female executive director.'

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