Adnams COO Karen Hester set to retire

DR KAREN HESTER, the award-winning Chief Operating Officer of Adnams, has announced her intention to retire.

Having worked within the Southwold-based brewery business for some 36 years, she has confirmed she will not be standing for re-election as an executive board member this spring.

Karen is keen to spend more time embracing other passions, being with her family and continuing in her roles as a magistrate and non-executive chair of an organisation called Independence Matters, an organisation providing quality care to help people live the life they choose.

She said: “I’ve had such a wonderful career at Adnams and could never have imagined where this journey would have taken me, when I look back at joining the business as a cleaner in 1988. Being the first female executive director in the company’s 150-year-old history, I am extremely proud to have been a board member of Adnams for nearly a decade.”

“I have watched my two children – Andrew and Emma – develop their own lives and businesses. Emma has her own business in Southwold called Loaded, a fabulous place to eat and Andrew is an established plumber in the area. I am also blessed to have three grandchildren; Isobelle, Liam and Fynlay.”

“Alongside that, many will know I had an entirely unexpected health diagnosis, which whilst I have beaten, was lifechanging and certainly puts life into perspective.”

Karen, alongside Andy Wood, has led the business through good and bad and said “I am so enormously grateful to Andy. He is a true leader and the type of person everyone wants as a ‘boss’.”

“Equally, I thank all my team for their support, loyalty, friendship and commitment.”

“Adnams has been part of my life for so long and I am genuinely proud of what has been achieved. Now feels like the right time for me to take a step back, I am looking forward to my next chapter.”

Chief Executive Officer, Andy Wood, praised Karen’s incredible service to the business.


“It is impossible to over-state what an asset Karen has been to Adnams.


“She has worked in so many aspects of our business, and in every area she has managed to lead, advise, motivate and enthuse people.

“We are really privileged to have been alongside her and can only wish her every happiness and success within her retirement, knowing only too well that she will continue to keep herself very busy with her voluntary pursuits and with the family and community she loves so much.”

Dr Andy Wood has previously confirmed his intention to step down from his position of CEO of Adnams within the next year.

Image: Karen Hester COO Adnams, Photo Credit: Anthony Cullen

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