Top people moves in drinks: November

Naked Wines’ Rowan Gormley to step down

Naked Wines boss Rowan Gormley announced he will step down from the online wine company after Christmas, claiming he is “a startup guy” rather than the one to build the online business in the US.

The surprise announcement had been planned for 18 months, with current COO Nick Devlin set to step into the top job.

It comes at the end of turbulent period for the company, which has seen the Majestic UK retail and commercial business sold to Japanese-owned US equity firm Fortress Bank for £95 million. Fine wine arm Lay & Wheeler was later sold to an international private company, Coterie Limited, for £11.3 million, in order to concentrate on building Naked Wines’ US ambitions.

Gormley said he was delighted that Devlin would be taking over, calling it the conclusion of a two-year long process to reconfigure Naked to enable it to fulfil its potential.

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