Hawthorn, the community pub company, has appointed Colin Rutherford as chairman.

An experienced chairman and board member, Rutherford has been a non-executive director at Mitchells & Butlers for eight years.

He already sits on the board of Hawthorn parent company NewRiver, as well as quoted oil & gas shipping and contracts services business, Renaissance Services SAOG, and Nasdaq quoted Evofem Biosciences.

Joining CEO Mark Davies, CFO Matt Ward, COO Edith Monfries and non-executive director Ken Buckley on the Hawthorn board, the appointment comes as the pub company looks to float on the stock exchange as a standalone business.

Davies said: “Colin will be an outstanding chairman and I know we will make a formidable team working closely together in a sector we both have a true passion for.

“Colin brings a lot of industry knowledge and corporate finance experience to our board and is very alive and ambitious to the opportunities ahead and I’m delighted with this important appointment.”

Colin Rutherford added: “Having worked in this sector for a long time I’m fortunate to have seen first-hand what the business is all about, and what the Hawthorn board is capable of achieving. In Mark and the rest of the management team, Hawthorn have a strong, dynamic leadership, with a clear ambition for growth, and I’m looking forward to working with them all at such an exciting time for the business.”