It’s time for a new chapter at Hillier Nurseries Ltd. Chairman Robert Hillier (pictured right) has announced that he will be standing down from his position of Chairman and will hand the reins of the family-run business over to George Hillier, who will take the role of Chairman from 1st January 2024. Robert will remain actively involved in the business as a Board Director on a part-time basis.
Hillier will celebrate its 160th anniversary next year and during that time there have only been four Chairmen. Robert has worked in the company for more than 50 years and has been the driving force behind Hillier since 1980.
It is his passion and dedication that has led Hillier to where it is today, from the introduction and growth of the retail chain of garden centres to the expansion of the Hillier Trees division, winning significant tenders for projects such as The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Robert Hillier says: “It has been a privilege to be at the forefront of this company for so long. I am extremely proud to be handing over to the next generation of the Hillier family. We are a business that has always looked to the future, so it is wonderful to see George take the reins and continue to build on the fantastic achievements of the last 160 years."
George (above) has worked in the company for 23 years and is ready to build on the strong foundation that has been laid down. He began as a Garden Centre Assistant and worked his way up to become Manager of Hillier Garden Centre Chichester, before progressing to Area Manager for three years and then into his current role as Director of Property. He has managed the company’s recent property acquisitions and developments taking the portfolio from 12 to 22 garden centres, as well as acquiring additional land for growth in the Hillier tree nurseries. George has also been instrumental in setting and delivering the company’s sustainability objectives, working with Planet Mark to reduce the business’ carbon footprint.
Discussing his new position as Chairman George said: “I’m looking forward to the opportunities ahead of us. These are exciting times for Hillier following our recent acquisitions and our launch of online shopping. The world is experiencing some uncertain times right now, but we have a strong and experienced team at Hillier who support our values and our vision and care about our customers, so we’re in a great position to look at what’s next for our business and continue the growth that my predecessors championed for decades. Of course, this is all while we focus on what we do best – trees, plants and great customer experiences!’
Transitions like this are always a significant milestone in any company’s history and we’re looking forward to this next chapter for Hillier!