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WSTA lines up former Greene King CEO for online summit

Published:  20 August, 2020

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has revealed Rooney Anand, former CEO of brewer and pub company Greene King, as the keynote speaker of its upcoming 2020 Industry Summit.

After moving the event online to comply with social distancing regulations, the annual event will take place from 15 to 17 September.

By spreading the event out over three days to focus on smaller digital events, the WSTA said it is able to develop an agenda that caters to a “broader range of members and their interests”, with Anand speaking on the 16 September and interviewed by returning chair, Alex Forrest Whiting. 

After an 18 year stint as director at Greene King from 2001 to 2019, Anand also recently served as chairman of the Casual Dining Group (now The Big Table).

He is now chairman of private equity backed businesses Away Resorts and Purity Soft Drinks, and serves as senior independent director for Wm Morrison Supermarkets. He is also chairman of WorldSkills UK, the skills and apprenticeship government-backed charitable foundation.

He will be looking to provide insights to the on-trade as it continues its recovery post-lockdown. 

WSTA chief executive, Miles Beale, said: “Whilst we had hoped to once again return to the British Library this year for a more ‘traditional’ Industry Summit, the health and wellbeing of all our attendees was our utmost concern, so we took the opportunity to host the event virtually this year allowing us to expand the agenda and make it more accessible to more of our members.”

“Rooney is vastly experienced in the industry, and I’ve no doubt that all those who attend the Summit this year will find his thoughts insightful and valuable as we look to the future," he added.

This year’s summit will look ahead to 2021 and beyond, the WSTA, with innovation, re-invention, sustainability and the environment as some of the key issues, as well as the end of the UK’s transition period from the EU on 1 January.