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John Ratcliffe to head up Accolade Wines


Date: 12/10/13

Accolade Wines has appointed experienced wine industry executive John Ratcliffe as its Chief Executive Officer.

CHAMP Private Equity[1] Managing Director and Accolade Project Director, John Haddock, said John Ratcliffe brought a history of innovation, entrepreneurship, a successful record of executive business leadership and a deep knowledge of the wine industry to the company.

“Over the past 11 years John has been providing operational and strategic expertise to the boards of multinationals, major financial institutions, distributors, retailers and brand owners across the globe. Prior to this, John was the Managing Director of Seagram UK and a pivotal driver of innovation at UK retailer Oddbins,” Mr Haddock said.

Mr Ratcliffe said, “I am delighted to be taking the helm of Accolade as it looks to implement its strategy of being the only company delivering a full service New World wine proposition globally across the three core price segments of value, mid-market and premium.

“Accolade has a wonderful portfolio of global and domestic brands, including the iconic Hardys, coupled with multi-channel distribution in all main geographies,” Mr Ratcliffe said.

“John has been a key adviser to the company throughout CHAMP’s involvement with Accolade. Through his work with the Board on key strategic initiatives it became increasingly apparent that John’s capabilities were an ideal fit for leadership of the company. With the recent appointment of Steve Gorst as Chief Financial and Operating Officer we are very pleased that the senior management team at Accolade is now complete,” Mr Haddock said.

“Accolade is a business with momentum and potential. I am very much looking forward to leading such a strong and highly experienced management team,” Mr Ratcliffe said.

Mr Ratcliffe will take up his appointment on 3 February 2014. He will be spending his time in Accolade’s major markets and travelling from bases in Australia and the UK.

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