WEATHERBYS has appointed Martin Radvan as its new chairperson to succeed Sir Johnny Weatherby next month.

It will be the first time that the company has not been headed by a member of the Weatherby family since 1770 when James Weatherby was appointed as the Jockey Club’s secretary and stakeholder.

Over the past 250 years Weatherbys has grown into the owner and publisher of the General Stud Book and, in Britain, Weatherbys still process the entries for all races and publish the Racing Calendar.

Sir Johnny remains on the Weatherbys board as a non-executive director and continues as chair of the trustees of the Weatherbys Group of Companies and Weatherbys Ireland. He will now spend more time helping to oversee the group’s international ambitions.

Sir Johnny has led Weatherbys through significant growth and change during his tenure, as well as being the founding chair of Weatherbys Bank. In recent years the speed of change has accelerated as Weatherbys has expanded into new business sectors and opened new offices around the world.

Within its core business of racing and stud book administration, a multi-million pound commitment to a new digital technology platform for the administration of British racing has been made with the British Horseracing Authority. This ongoing commitment to position the business for the future has also seen the development of cloud-based digital solutions deployed in multiple jurisdictions around the world.

Weatherbys has developed the world’s first multi-species electronic passport and, through Weatherbys Scientific’s leading DNA/genotyping laboratories, it has made strategic partnerships with blue-chip organisations, such as the Kennel Club.

Martin Radvan joins Weatherbys having retired in 2019 as deputy group CEO of Mars Inc. and president of Mars Wrigley, responsible for all the Mars chocolate, confectionery and chewing gum brands around the world.

Radvan had been a senior executive for Mars Incorporated for over 30 years, in a variety of roles and locations, and brings very strong family business and governance experience, combined with both large and smaller business acumen, having run various business units across Mars.

Radvan said: “I welcome this opportunity to join Weatherbys. I have spent most of my professional life working for a successful family business, and I hope to be able to use that experience to continue Johnny and his team’s great work. Weatherbys is an impressive business, with impeccable heritage, but also with a strong appetite for future growth and impact.

“I look forward to working with the whole Weatherbys team to deliver an exciting future for all.”

Sir Johnny Weatherby commented: “I am delighted that Martin is becoming chair at an exciting time for the business. He will add a new dimension to our operation which will benefit not just Weatherbys, but most importantly our customers and partners as well.”