Heineken UK veteran to head Tennent's owner C&C Group

Tennent’s owner C&C Group has poached the managing director of Heineken UK as its new group chief executive.

David Forde played a key role in the Heineken acquisition of Edinburgh-based Scottish & Newcastle in 2008.

David Forde, who has served as the boss of Heineken UK for the past seven years and been with the beer-maker for 32 years, is set to join the Irish group at the latest in early 2021, after seeing out his notice period.

C&C also announced the appointment of Patrick McMahon, current group strategy director, as group chief financial officer to succeed Jonathan Solesbury, who intends to step down at the start of September.

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Stewart Gilliland is to continue in his role as interim executive chairman until Forde joins the group, at which time Gilliland will revert to the role of non-executive chairman.

Forde, who played a key role in Heineken’s acquisition of Edinburgh-based Scottish & Newcastle in 2008, said: “I am extremely excited to be joining C&C, a company with great people, loved brands and a world class distribution infrastructure. I look forward, together with my new colleagues and the board, to further building the business into the future.”

Gilliland added: “Following a thorough evaluation of exceptional candidates for the position, we believe David has the requisite blend of brands, distribution and pub sector expertise to maximise the potential of our iconic brands and optimise the potential of our distribution capabilities.”

Last month, C&C revealed it was losing some €7 million (£6.2m) a month while pubs and restaurants remain closed during the coronavirus lockdown.

The firm, whose portfolio includes cider brand Magners, said this was after around €5m a month in support for furloughed employees, with some 70 per cent of its staff retained under those schemes.

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