Marston’s welcomes Merlin Entertainments CEO to Board

Marston’s PLC has today announced the appointment of Nick Varney as a Non-executive Director to the Board, with effect from 1 July 2022. Varney will also join the Nomination Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

Varney (pictured) has over 30 years’ experience in the Leisure industry and was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Merlin Entertainments in 1999.

Having started his career in consumer goods marketing, initially with Nestle Rowntree (1984-1988) and then with Reckitt & Colman plc (1988-90), Varney went on to hold senior positions within The Tussauds Group (Pearson PLC), prior to becoming Managing Director of Vardon Attractions and a Main Board Director of Vardon plc (1995 to 1999).

In 1999, Varney led the management buyout of Vardon Attractions to form Merlin Entertainments, driving the company’s dynamic growth strategy through several private equity partnerships and a successful IPO in 2013 as a FTSE250 constituent company through to its subsequent privatisation in 2019.

Merlin continues to grow under his leadership and currently operates 136 theme parks and attractions, as well as hotels and holiday villages in 24 countries across four continents.

In addition, Varney is a Board member of UK Hospitality, the trade body representing the UK’s hospitality and tourism industry.

William Rucker, Chair of Marston’s PLC, commented, “I am delighted to welcome Nick to the Marston’s Board. Under his stewardship, Merlin Entertainments has become a world-class international business with customer experience at its core, delivering digital transformation through customer-friendly platforms.

“This, together with his brand-building insight and expertise in building a diverse portfolio of family-based leisure brands and attractions, will be invaluable to Marston’s at this exciting juncture. We very much look forward to working with Nick and benefitting from his highly complementary skillset.”