Michael Venner, former joint managing director of stocktaking business Venners, has passed away at the age of 85.
Venner took up the role of joint MD in 1961, remaining in the position after the business was acquired by the Christie Group in 1984. He retired in 1990.
The company was one of the first to launch a computer stocktaking program in 1963, in a system that has been credited with shaping the industry to this day.
Involved in the business for many years after retirement, Venner gave the keynote speech at Venners' centenary celebration at the Waldorf hotel in 1996.
Venner originally worked for Kelsey Brewery in Tunbridge Wells, and then underwent National Service with the Royal Marines before studying at Ushers Brewery and then going on to join the family business.
Current managing director Trevor Heyburn said that although Venner had not been actively involved in the business operation for many years, he would be fondly remembered, and that the company's "overriding ethos" was instilled by Venner and still applied today.
Venner leaves a wife, a son, and his daughter Katherine, who continues to work for the business.
Christie Group chief executive David Rugg said: "Michael was enormous fun to work with and was imbued with a tremendous knowledge of the licensed trade. Above all he was a people person, happiest out among the team doing his utmost for Venners' clients."
Founded in 1896, and now a member of the Christie Group, Venners offers services to the hospitality industry including in stocktaking, consultancy, health and safety, inventory and valuation, and tenancy support.