Matt Lambert appointed Portman Group chief executive

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Matt Lambert

The Portman Group, the trade body of alcoholic drinks producers, has announced the appointment of Matt Lambert as its new chief executive.

Lambert, who currently heads the Federation for Industry Sector, Skills and Standards, will take up the position from the incumbent John Timothy in January 2021.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Lambert as the new Chief Executive of the Portman Group. Matt is a fantastic hire who brings a wide range of experience and a great track record to the role,” commented Philip Rycroft, the Chair of the Portman Group.

“Matt 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.”

Lambert has extensive experience in management and corporate affairs, holding senior roles at a number of large corporations including Microsoft and Betfair.

John Timothy, the outgoing chief executive who will remain in post to oversee the transition, has played an instrumental role in the consultation and publication of the sixth edition of the Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks, which ensures that alcohol is marketed in a socially responsible way.

He also secured agreement from members to include updated guidance from the Chief Medical Officer on labels and delivered an increase in membership with Asahi UK, Aston Manor, Campari, SHS Drinks and Thatcher’s cider all joining in 2020.

“[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,” Rycroft said.

Speaking about his appointment, Matt Lambert said: “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 forwarding 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.”