The Portman Group has confirmed that Henry Ashworth will be stepping down as Chief Executive of the Portman Group after five years in the role.

Henry has been recruited for the position of Chief Executive Officer and President of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), beginning in January 2017.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to addressing the global public health issue of harmful drinking and promoting responsible drinking.

Sir Martin Narey, Chairman of the Portman Group said:

“It’s been a rare pleasure to work with Henry for the past four years or so and I’m delighted that he’s been recruited to such a prestigious and important post. He has led the Portman Group members through some choppy waters with skill and tenacity, challenging them, while at the same time, demonstrating to Government the reality of the social responsibility of the vast majority of alcohol producers.”

Commenting on his departure Henry Ashworth said:

“It has been a great privilege to serve as Chief Executive of the Portman Group. In the last five years we have strengthened the UK’s self-regulatory alcohol marketing framework, and challenged the industry to go further than ever before in its efforts to support central and local government in helping to reduce alcohol-related harms. Drinks producers and retailers have shown that they are both willing and committed partners by voluntarily removing over one billion units of alcohol from the market, labelling over 80% of products on shelves with key health information with 90% carrying a warning about alcohol and pregnancy, providing targeted support for local communities and funding lifeskills education in schools. These important measures demonstrate the commitment of drinks companies to work in partnership with government to promote responsible alcohol consumption and to support the wellbeing of consumers. I look forward to taking up my new role at IARD and wish the Portman Group every success going forward.”

The Portman Group will now begin an open process to appoint a new Chief Executive.