He will be replaced by Peter Wells will step into the new role of group managing director. Mr Wells will make it five generations of the family who have led the firm since it was founded by Charles Wells in 1876.
Company chairman Paul Wells said: “Our company has transformed in recent years as our strategy has evolved.
“We have been very fortunate to have had Justin’s leadership during this time, an era of profound change in the brewing and pubs world. On behalf of the family and all our colleagues I would like to record our appreciation for his huge contribution to the success of the company and wish him well for the future.
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“The role of chief executive will now disappear, and I am delighted that the board have today confirmed Peter Wells into his new role.”
Mr Phillimore added: “The plan for the change of Wells & Co. from being a large brewer and tenanted pub company to a simpler more agile craft brewer with an increasing focus on managed pubs is nearing completion.
“With the building of our new home and brewing business making excellent progress, the company direction clearly set and the recruitment for a managed retail director underway, I feel that the time is right to hand the business on to Peter Wells at the start of 2020.
“I have had a wonderful 13 years at Wells & Co. as finance director, MD of the brewing and brand business, and lastly as chief executive.”
Peter Wells said: “This is a really exciting time for the business. It’s been a real pleasure to work with Justin on establishing our strategy.
“Our new brewery is on schedule to open in the summer. The growth in our managed businesses in France and the UK is on track, alongside our continued investment into our Pub Partner estate. I am delighted to be able to lead the business into the next chapter of our 140-year history.”