Job cuts are feared after Beamish boss resignation

One of Cork’s most respected businessmen has resigned from the post he had become synonymous with for the last 20 years.

Alf Smiddy yesterday resigned as chairman and managing director of Beamish & Crawford, just days after Heineken completed a takeover of the brewery.

Mr Smiddy will continue to advise the breweries on a consultancy basis throughout the merger, but will is now officially replaced by managing director of Heineken Ireland, Gerrit van Loo.

The resignation has further fuelled fears among Beamish & Crawford staff that job cuts could form part of the takeover process.

Mr Smiddy, a UCC graduate, said: “I have enjoyed every minute of my time at Beamish & Crawford, and I now wish to spend more time on other business opportunities.

“I am encouraged that the business and brands developed so successfully by my colleagues and I over the past 20 years are now joining a superb business that presents considerable opportunities for the future.”

Mr Smiddy joined the oldest brewery in Ireland in 1988 as a financial controller — a job he thought was only short-term.

Twenty years later he was the face of the company that served more than 5,000 hotels, pubs and restaurants in 30 countries.

He has also found time to serve on the boards of Cork Airport and Cork Chamber, as well as being chairman of Plato, an all-island organisation which provides help, advice and support for companies in the medium to small sector.

Mr van Loo said: “We are very grateful to Alf Smiddy for his energy, hard work and dedication over many years. During the past two decades he has developed an exciting and successful beer portfolio. We are grateful to Mr Smiddy for his continued support and insight as we seek to combine our companies over the coming months.”

Meanwhile, SIPTU has said workers at Beamish and Crawford are fearing the worst as the takeover moves ahead. Heineken has been unable to reassure workers that there will be no job cuts as both companies merge together.

Heineken officials have said a total review of the Beamish operations must be undertaken before any decisions are made.

Article courtesy of The Evening Echo newspaper

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