After over 30 years within RH Hall, sales director Kris Brearley will be departing the business at the end of September.
Brearley joined the business in 1987 and has worked in a wide variety of roles over the years, growing the business with co-director Ray Hall to the company it is today.
In a letter to the industry, Brearley confirmed that his departure is not related to the current Covid-19 crisis and has actually been planned out for over a year. After his last day on 30 September, he will be taking some time out to travel and spend time with his family.
In preparation for Brearley’s departure, a number of internal promotions have taken place – including Duncan Vipas to head of sales and purchasing, Emma Smith to head of marketing and Tracy Barry to head of finance and operations.
This new team will be working alongside MD Ray Hall and all RH Hall staff to drive the business further forward, working to the ‘Company Vision’ set in motion during 2019.
Hall spoke of Brearley’s impending departure: “When Kris first approached me about his desire to retire from the business in order to take time out and travel, I thought he was having a mid-life crisis and all was a bit of a shock given the period of his life – it seemed such an early age to make such a decision.
“However after many lengthy discussions and a few beers out together it became perfectly clear that Kris had been considering this big decision for a while and had made his mind up that this is the correct decision for him.
“Kris was also clear that good notice would be provided in order for the business to make the necessary restructuring to support his valued role and duties. On that basis it was agreed that Kris would stay with the business until the end of March 2020 as a minimum, however as things developed and before the Covid-19 pandemic we both agreed that the date should be the end of September 2020.”
Hall continued: “A business restructuring plan with internal career promotions were firmly put in place around October 2019 and all RH Hall staff were duly notified. At that stage it did not seem appropriate to inform the market and that such news should be announced nearer to his leave date.
“Kris has been a great asset to the business and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with him for so many, many years. We also have a special friendship which of course will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come. Kris will be sorely missed, however we are pleased for him and wish him all the very best with his personal ambitions.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank Kris for his dedication and the solid achievements that the business has enjoyed over the years during his time as sales director and more.”
Hall revealed that RH Hall currently has no plans to recruit a direct replacement, and aims to build a future directorship from roles within the organisation. He summarised: “We now have three key heads within the business, covering sales and purchasing, marketing and finance, and we plan for further career advancement with others over the course of next year. The plan is to create more directorships and continue to strengthen the management team going forward.
“Things at RH Hall will certainly be different without Kris on board, however we look at this in a positive way and will continue to keep driving forward to our vision and plan. Kris and the team will be in touch with our customers prior to handover and I will be available as needed, to be involved in whatever is required to ensure that we continue to provide what we do best and do well.
“Here’s to Kris’s continued good health, happiness and exciting retirement plans that lay ahead. Our kindest thoughts of course also to his lovely and supportive family.”
Head of sales and purchasing, Duncan Vipas said: “When I first joined the company it was Kris and myself working in the sales office; we immediately formed a great relationship – I learnt so much from him then and have continued to do as I have progressed within the business.
“He has always been on hand for advice and there is no doubt I will be reaching out for more in future, as well as chatting through Watford’s results! I’m sure he will have plenty of things planned to keep himself busy but there is no doubt he will still be looking out for sales opportunities for us. All at RH Hall will miss him greatly and his legacy will continue within many of us.”
Head of marketing, Emma Smith, added: “Like Kris, I started at RH Hall straight after leaving school and I still remember my first interview with him. Ever since then we have worked closely together on a day to day basis and enjoyed quite a few social beverages too!
“As a team we’ve achieved many positive milestones for the business and we really have enjoyed ourselves along the way. Kris has been a big part of why I have been in the business for as long as I have and I am hopeful to be able to continue to build on the foundations he has created. Most importantly, no one is more deserving of some time out and I’m looking forward to hearing all about his travels.”
Head of finance and operations, Tracy Barry, commented further: “After joining RH Hall in 2010 I soon realised that one of the biggest pulls to the company was the people that worked here. Kris is certainly one of those characters who you can instantly click with and he epitomises what RH Hall stands for. Kris has always been there to help me along my journey within RH Hall, encouraging me to develop and helping me achieve my goals.
“RH Hall is not going to be the same without him but I know that we’ve all taken so much from him, that he will still be a massive part of us and RH Hall going forward. I wish Kris every success and best wishes going forward and look forward to hearing of his retirement tales.”
Read Brearley’s letter to the industry in full here.