Danny Butterfield has taken over as managing director of headwear specialist Sharon Lee after owner Toby Pache announced his decision to leave.

Toby, who took over the helm of the Essex-based business from his father Graham Pache on his retirement in 2009, has worked there for over 25 years. After starting work at the company in the school holidays at 16, he joined full-time in the sales department in 1997 at the age of 21.

Danny joined the business nearly 12 years ago, working his way up to sales director and company director before becoming managing director this year.

Announcing his departure, Toby said: “I have taken the decision to move on from Sharon Lee and the promotional industry to seek a new challenge and forge a new path, of which I am hoping to take the first steps on in 2023.

“There are not actually enough words to express how much I have loved the industry and the people within it, but this especially goes out to the team at Sharon Lee, who I can never thank enough for their kindness, support, dedication and understanding, even in the face of occasional adversity and dealing with my sometimes left-field ideas.

“I am so proud to have worked with them, and thankful for everything that they gave to support what is, and what will continue to be a brilliant company.

“Personally, I have had many challenges over the past six years, but those challenges would have been made even harder if I didn’t have the support of the team at Sharon Lee, and the wonderful colleagues within the promotional and retail industries.

“As I am sure you can appreciate, to move on from a business that my family have built and owned for 75 years was the hardest decision that I have ever made – bar none. But the time has come to find a new challenge and a new path.

“So as a final comment, I want to wish [director] Lee Parkin, Danny Butterfield and the whole team at Sharon Lee every success for the future and the same sentiment goes to all my friends and colleagues in the industry.”

Dating back to 1947, Sharon Lee was founded by Woolf Davis who sold the business to Graham Pache, the husband of his daughter Sharon Lee, in 1980. It moved to its current site in Braintree in 1987.

Click here to read our 2017 profile of Sharon Lee, and get close up and personal with Toby Pache in our 2018 interview here.