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Naked Wines founder returns to advise board amid share woes

Rowan Gormley, the founder and former chief executive of Naked Wines is set to return to the board of the online wine retailer in an advisory capacity amid plummeting shares and the resignation of a board member after just three weeks in the position.

It has been a turbulent few months at Norwich-based online wine retailer Naked Wines. In the summer, the business parted ways with its chief financial officer by “mutual agreement” a month after shares plummeted 44% in the wake of a gloomy sales forecast.

Then last week it was announced that non-executive director Pratham Ravi, an analyst at one of the online wine retailer’s largest shareholders, had resigned from the board less than three weeks after joining.

It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that founder Gormley has been brought back into the fold to steady the ship.

According to the Financial Times, Naked Wines will reveal “revised plans” on the week of 17 October – the announcement coming days after the business mooted a potential shift in strategy that saw shares fall once again.

“There’s clearly a lot of nervousness around its strategy,” Jonathan Pritchard, retail analyst at Peel Hunt, told FT.

“Gormley will do a good stabilising job. He knows the place inside out and had some fantastic successes with it. He can come in and bring an experienced view on that.”

Rowan Gormley retains an almost 3% stake in the group, and was the CEO of Majestic Wine after his surprise exit from Naked Wines in 2019.

Naked Wines chairman, Darryl Rawlings, said:

“I welcome Rowan providing his insight to us because his operational familiarity with the business and his viewpoint as a shareholder will provide a unique and valuable perspective to the board as we position Naked for long-term sustainable growth”.

According to FT, Rowan Gormley’s position as advisor to the board is unpaid and is not expected to exceed three months.


Read more:

Naked Wines shares plummet 44%

Naked Wines parts ways with chief financial officer

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