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Hospitality Heavyweights Team up with Punch Pubs & Co

Punch Pubs & Co has appointed three Strategic Advisors to the Board.

After securing the services of Dame Karen Jones and John Colley earlier in the year, Hamish Stoddart is the latest industry leader to join the business.

The highly regarded trio, who have extensive experience in the hospitality sector, will help shape the future direction of Punch.

Dame Karen Jones is currently a non-executive director of both Whitbread Plc and Mowgli, senior independent director at Deliveroo Plc and Chairs Hawksmoor Restaurant Group and Frontier Pubs. Karen is also a Commissioner of The Crown Estate.

In addition, Karen is co-Chair of the Hospitality Sector Council, alongside the Minister for Hospitality, Kevin Hollinrake.

Karen co-founded Food and Fuel, which was sold to The Restaurant Group in 2018 having previously co-founded Café Rouge and The Pelican Group Plc. Karen served as Executive Chair of Prezzo between 2018-2022. She was CEO of Spirit Group from 1999 to 2006: Spirit Group was sold to Punch in January 2006.

John Colley is the current Executive Chairman and CEO of Majestic Wine, the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, owned, alongside Punch, by Fortress Investment Group.

John previously spent 17 years in senior roles with Kingfisher – including Group Chief Trading Officer and Commercial Director at Screwfix. He also spent five years in the Netherlands, as CEO of Praxis DIY and Executive Board Member of Maxeda Group.

Hamish Stoddart is the co-founder and former Managing Director of Peach Pubs, which operates over 20 sustainable gastropubs pubs in the South of England and the Midlands.

The group’s offer is aimed at affluent guests seeking a consistent, premium food-led pub experience. Peach was acquired by Revolution Bars Group in October last year.

Punch Pubs & Co CEO Clive Chesser is delighted to have Karen, John and Hamish on board, all of whom will play an important role in supporting the strategic direction of the business.

He said: “This is an exciting time for Punch and all three individuals bring wide ranging sector experience and a broad range of invaluable skills.

“Karen is an absolute industry heavyweight, John boasts valuable retail experience, whilst Hamish is an innovative pioneer for culture and sustainability in hospitality.”

Karen added: “It’s great to be back with Punch having been part of the team that originally created it, and of course Spirit was born out of Punch Retail. Clive leads a first-class team, and we have an exciting journey ahead.”