Blog: Olly WehringHayward fed up with BBPA politics?

Olly Wehring | 12 March 2009

Word has reached just-drinks' ear that the departure of British Beer and Pub Association CEO Rob Hayward comes against a background of internal disputes between the trade body's members.

A reliable source tells us that Hayward has had enough of attempting to walk a tightrope between different members' demands.

The source said that that the BBPA has been "in a bit of a mess" for some time over such internal disputes.

Clearly the timing of Hayward's departure is not good. On Monday (16 March), the BBPA is supposed to be meeting Chancellor Alistair Darling to discuss the beer and pub industry's plight, as well as look at the planned 2% above inflation tax rise on alcoholic drinks widely expected to be announced in next month's 2009 Budget.

The BBPA has understandably attempted to draw a line under the issue. It has steadfastly refused to comment on Hayward's departure, beyond thanking him for his work over the last 10 years and wishing him well for the future.

Assuming our information is correct, and we have good reason to believe that it is, Hayward's exit should serve as a wake-up call to the industry.

Disputes make good copy for us journalists, of course, but, in the industry, surely the loss of an experienced figurehead at such a crucial time should cause some to reconsider their tactics?


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