By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
Australian Hotelier can reveal that Steve Howarth, National Operations Manager for ALH Group, was given a mandatory redundancy last week.
The decision was made after Woolworths decided to review all aspects of its business. ALH Group is a joint venture between The Mathieson Group and Woolworths, owning 330 hotels across Australia. With recent changes to both boards and the impending review, the Mathieson family decided that it was time to once again take control of the leadership of ALH Group.
Howarth’s redundancy will allow Bruce Mathieson Jr to combine his roles as Chief Executive Officer and National Operations Manager, reverting back to a lean-operating structure within the business.
“With a joint venture between a family-based business and a large corporation, corporatisation of operations doesn’t always fit, so I believe the family just wants to get back to the decision-making,” Howarth told AH.
Mathieson Jr agreed, commenting: “For us the decision was about me getting back to being closer to the business. That’s how we used to operate, and I’m just getting back to that position.”
Since the redundancy last week, Howarth – who spent just over two years in the national role and 11 years as the state manager for New South Wales – is taking some time off to weigh up different opportunities.
“I had a wonderful career at ALH. I feel good about it. But it’s time for a change.”
In the last week Howarth has already received offers from growing pub groups across the country, and has even received several offers overseas. He will take some time to weigh up his options.