JW Lees, the North West brewer and pub operator, has promoted Simon Cross to the board as finance director — the first non-family director in 30 years. Cross joined JW Lees as director of finance and company secretary in 2007 from GE Commercial Finance Fleet Services where he was UK Financial Controller. He qualified as a chartered accountant with BKR Joseph Crossley in 1999 and then qualified as a chartered tax advisor with Ernst & Young in 2001. William Lees-Jones, the group’s managing director, said: "Simon has made a massive contribution to JW Lees since he joined us three years ago and his promotion to the main board is seen as a further strengthening of the board and also a reflection of the positive impact that he has made on the company. "He is the first non-family director of the company for nearly 30 years and we hope that JW Lees will continue to go from strength to strength."