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Rufus Olins appointed new executive director of IMW

Rufus Olins began his career as a journalist and editor at The Sunday Times

The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) confirmed last month that Rufus Olins will take over as its new executive director from May, following the departure of Penny Richards last year.

On finding a suitable replacement for Richards, Adrian Garforth MW, chairman of the IMW, said an “extensive global search” was carried out that resulted in a solid pool of candidates from both in and out of the wine world.

“Rufus was the stand-out candidate in that strong field,” he said. “He comes with vast expertise, especially with membership organisations, which is very exciting for the IMW. I’m delighted Rufus will be joining the team and I look forward to working with him as we move into the next phase of the IMW’s history.”

Olins began his career as a journalist and editor working for The Sunday Times. He went on to become managing director of Lord Heseltine’s Haymarket Brand Media in 2003, then CEO at the World Advertising Research Centre, an international data business for the marketers and academics.

After heading up Newsworks, the membership body for the UK’s national newspaper brands, he joined the Co-op Group as chief membership officer.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Institute of Masters of Wine and building on the excellent work of Penny Richards and the team,” Olins said of his new appointment. “I cannot think of a more important time to join such a multi-faceted industry encompassing geography, science, history, climate, fashion, economics and the sheer pleasure of drinking wine.”

“Nothing is a higher priority than maintaining the highest of standards of the MW award, but there are also exciting opportunities ahead for growth and development. I greatly look forward to working with members, students, supporters, the council and the team to develop the IMW’s activities and influence.’’

Rufus will join the IMW on 28 April 2019.

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