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WineGB announces new CEO

Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) has announced the appointment of former Portman Group strategy director Nicola Bates as its new CEO.

WineGB announces new CEO

WineGB has just announced its new CEO, whose appointment commences on 30 October 2023, following news earlier this year that the organisation’s former chief executive Simon Thorpe MW had stepped down.

Bates is WineGB’s first female CEO and joins a panel of women leading the association, with Sam Linter staying on as chair.

Linter said of the new appointment: “I am delighted to appoint Nicola as the new CEO of WineGB. The WineGB Board were looking for a specific set of skills and experience that are required to deliver success for the organisation and industry as we enter a new phase of maturity. During an extensive recruitment process, Nicola demonstrated the experience and diverse skillset required to run a growing trade association with a rapidly increasing external focus.

“We look forward to introducing Nicola into the UK wine industry and have an intensive immersion planned to provide a strong grounding in the strategic imperatives and intricacies of our industry and organisation.

Bates previously held the role of director of strategy and external affairs at the Portman Group, the social responsibility body and regulator for alcohol labelling, packaging and promotion in the UK.

The new WineGB CEO has left the Portman Group after five years in the role. David Saer, the current head of policy and public affairs at the alcohol regulator, will become the group’s new director of external affairs in October 2023.

She commented on her new role: “Others may disagree, but this has to be the best job in wine. With production having doubled over the past five years, and set again to repeat this substantial achievement, I am overjoyed to be a part of the next phase of growth for English and Welsh wines. The sector will likely soon face the challenges that come with such success, and this is where WineGB steps in with its significant role to shape the workforce, the customer experience, and the reputation. I look forward to meeting members, patrons, funders, and the wider industry to learn how WineGB can continue to be your partner and deliver for the future.”

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