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New structure and focus for Maxxium UK

Maxxium UK is re-structuring its business to reflect the evolving spirits market and equip itself to capitalise on growth opportunities in the category.

Driven by what the distributor describes as its new ‘simpler, faster, better’ approach, Maxxium aims to accelerate its leadership in the whiskies and cognac market by focussing on the major UK cities. Together with a number of changes to the executive team effective from June, the development sees the introduction of a London division as well as increased investment to drive its premium spirits portfolio.

Managing director, Mark Riley says: “This is an exciting time for Maxxium as we embark on the next phase of business growth. We are investing to develop identified opportunities to secure growth in premium spirits. Our new structure aligns our business with those opportunities and will allow us to work with our customers to develop effective plans.”

Former marketing director of eight years, Peter Sandström (pictured) will head up the London division as general manager, spearheading development, which in turn will inform the approach for other major cities across the UK.

After three decades of service Jim Grierson, sales director on-trade is retiring and will be succeeded by Andrew Morrison. Andrew will also oversee the company’s route to market channel and field sales outside of London. In the new structure, the wholesale and cash & carry teams will combine into one, with additional focus and resource given to the multiple pub group channel to unlock further growth. Andrew has held senior roles across the on- and off-trade at Maxxium since 1999.

Susanne Wood is appointed sales director retail to lead a new team looking after multiple grocery and impulse customers and will also head up Thomas Lowndes, suppliers of culinary strength alcohol to the food industry. 

Susanne, formerly Maxxium’s business sector controller for Managed Retail, joined the company from Sainsbury’s, where she worked for 11 years in various commercial roles, ultimately heading up category planning for beer, wines and spirits.

To replace Peter Sandström as marketing director, Gareth Brown joins Maxxium UK from Beam Suntory, where he worked for 10 years, latterly as senior director for Scotch, Irish and Japanese whiskies across the International region.  To complete the executive team line up, which includes Gail Cockburn, HR director and Gary Thomson, business services director, Neville Ross joins from Edrington as finance director.  Neville spent 14 years working for Edrington, most recently in Singapore where he held the position of Regional Finance Director Asia Pacific and India. 

Mark says: “As a supplier of premium spirits including cognac, vodka and some of the best loved whiskies from around the world, we recognise the importance of executing our plans with excellence through to the point of purchase.  This ethos lies at the heart of our business and the new executive team, as well as the wider business will be guided by this premise, ensuring we put our customers and consumers first.

“Peter is a cornerstone in the business and his industry expertise will play a crucial role in leading our London team to success. Andrew, Susanne and Gareth bring a wealth of industry knowledge and unwavering customer and consumer focus, which will be instrumental in forging stronger partnerships, driving excellence and developing mutually profitable growth across the portfolio, most notably in whiskies, cognac and vodka.

“It is with sadness and immeasurable thanks that we say goodbye to Jim Grierson, a leading industry figure and one of Maxxium’s original executive team. Jim leaves many ground-breaking achievements, including MIXXIT and an industry leading field sales team, where his legacy will support business growth for many years to come. His exceptional commitment will be greatly missed and we wish him happiness in his retirement.”

14 June 2016 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor