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Change of CEO at William Grant & Sons

Stella David, has decided to step down as CEO of William Grant & Sons at the end of February 2016 and will be succeeded by Simon Hunt, currently chief commercial officer.

David joined William Grant & Sons in August 2009 and has overseen impressive growth of the company’s portfolio of brands. She has decided it is now the time in her career to focus on building upon her existing portfolio of non-executive directorships.

Since joining the global spirits business and independent family distillers, Ms David has overseen the acquisition of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey and Drambuie, and delivered exceptional results for the business, with great growth of brands such as Hendrick’s gin and The Balvenie single malt Scotch whisky.

Glenn Gordon, William Grant & Sons Chairman, says: “We are all very grateful for Stella’s enormous contribution to the business in recent years.  In particular, she has brought an exceptional level of energy and drive to our business, while significantly enhancing the premiumness of our brands and their appeal to consumers. This has evidenced itself both in the company’s results and the overall progress of the business in terms of the depth of talent we are privileged to have and the amount of passion that is felt all over the company.”

David says: “I am immensely proud of my time at William Grant & Sons and there is no doubt that there is a huge amount I am going to miss about the company. It has been an incredible journey, with a focus on building brands, planning for the long term, working with a talented array of people and very supportive family shareholders.  I wish the company every success for the future.”

Simon Hunt has been with William Grant & Sons since October 2007, initially as managing director, North America and in April 2013 he was promoted to chief commercial officer. Hunt will take over the role of CEO on March 1, 2016 and Ms David will continue in an advisory capacity until the end of May.

Hunt says: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the great team at William Grant & Sons and build on the strong momentum we have been achieving with our world class, premium brands.”

David already holds non-executive positions on the board of C&J Clark Ltd and HomeServe plc and spent seven years as a non-executive director of Nationwide Building Society. 

18 December 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor