SA Brain, the Cardiff-based brewer and leisure operator, has announced that Philip Lay, retail director, will leave the business at the end of March, after 12 years with the company.

Lay played pivotal roles in the development and modernisation of the Brains retail estate across their portfolio of pub businesses and, more recently, with the acquisition and expansion of the Coffee #1 business.

He told M&C Report that the move was amicable and that he was looking to remain in the sector.

Lay said: “It is early days and I am looking forward to a break and maybe some skiing, but after that I am hoping to do something back in the sector and there are a number of opportunities out there that are of interest.”

The group is currently undergoing a restructure, which started last year, and Lay’s responsibilities will be handed over to relevant colleagues to cover in the interim.

Lay said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Brains, working with a fantastic team of people, developing some exciting businesses and seeing the team achieve some great results.  After nearly 12 years with the business, it is time for me to move on to fresh challenges outside of Brains. I am sure the company will continue to flourish and everyone at Brains – employees and family - have my best wishes for the future.”

Scott Waddington, chief executive of Brains, said: “I would like to thank Philip for all his support, hard work and valuable contribution to the business during his time with the company. I wish him every success in his future career”.

Last year, the group announced a restructure that would see the abolition of a separate sales and marketing division and the departure of sales and marketing director Richard Davies.

The sales and marketing functions are being incorporated into a new commercial division, which includes brewery operations and sales.

A retail division includes all Brains’ managed and tenanted pubs, plus restaurants, hotels and its coffee chain Coffee#1.

Finally, a reconfigured finance and business process division will manage all support processes across the company.