Welcoming the next generation

Date: Category: Group

Bennie announces Emma Ayres as the new Group Chairman, and Matthew Ayres as the 4th Generation Group Managing Director of the business.

Emma started working for Bennie in 1981 and has worked in some form or another in all areas of the business. After nearly 4 decades of hard work, she has decided now is an opportune time for the next generation to take the reins. Emma will continue to play an active role in the business supporting Matthew and the Senior Management team in her new role.

Matthew joined Bennie full time in Autumn 2018 from Westfield Shopping Centres and before that the John Lewis Partnership. Over the last decade he has played an increasingly active role working across the business to develop and implement Group initiatives; most recently restructuring the Finance & Operations teams to support the trading businesses.

In his new role, Matthew will be focused on repositioning Bennie under the new ‘normal’ post Covid-19. The move to the next generation ensures that Bennie continues to be family led and set up for success, strength and longevity. 2020 has proved to be an extraordinary year for everyone; these exciting changes at Bennie will see the business Build Back Better than ever.

Emma Ayres comments: ‘I have been working closely with Matthew to prepare for this transition for some time. The impact of Covid-19 on business provides new challenges and opportunities and has identified a need for new ways of working and thinking.

I’m confident that Matthew with his youthful energy and charisma will be well placed to meet these unique challenges and lead Bennie towards greater heights. I’m also proud to see Matthew continue a legacy of family management that spans over 80 years’

Matthew Ayres comments: ‘I am really looking forward to getting started in my new role and working with the Senior Management Team of the business to make Bennie better. This business has huge potential in its’ brand and its’ people and I believe we can do more to leverage these for our customers.

I am grateful to be supported by a great mentor in Emma and an excellent management team as we embark on the next chapter of Bennie.’