Freddy Hoult has announced his retirement as chairman of Hoults Ltd, making way for the fourth generation of the family firm to drive the business forward.
The 76-year-old is stepping down from the board after almost 50 years at the helm of the Byker, Newcastle, business.
He built up Hoults Removals to a top five UK removals firm before selling to Pickfords in 1983. He retained removals properties, including the iconic Hoults Yard in Byker, which he developed as an office park, supporting many growing businesses in the city, with the support of his long time property consultant and friend Eric Morgan. Morgan also retires from the board.
Freddy’s daughter Annabel Hoult will take over as non-executive chairman, working alongside her brother Charlie Hoult who is chief executive of Hoults Ltd.
Their sister Louise Hoult is also increasing her involvement as a non-executive director.
Charlie Hoult said: “This is about the fourth generation of the family business coming through.
“He has been a big figure in North East civic life for 50 years as the key player in the third generation of Hoults and he’s also very well regarded in the city, for his work in charities, the NHS, as a school governor and magistrate.
“He’s an old school charmer who has helped many, many people in business and launch their careers in the city. Hoults Yard has provided a springboard for so many businesses and individuals since it was set up and he’s been one of life’s enthusiasts, keen to support the region and those within it.”
Freddy joined the family removals business in 1960 and became the managing director aged 26.
He oversaw expansion of the firm with three European offices and five UK depots. He became the youngest ever President of the British Association of Removers in 1976.
Following the sale of Hoults Removals in 1983, Freddy became more active in public service as the first chair of the Freeman Hospital Trust, alongside Sir Len Fenwick as chief executive.
Freddy added: ‘I am very proud to see our business near its 100th anniversary and a fourth generation take over.”