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Shake-up at Laithwaites Wine

Published:  14 December, 2011

Direct Wines has announced a reshuffle of its buying and merchandising teams which sees current head of buying Thomas Woolrych make a transatlantic move to take up the role of wine director in the US.

The changes will enable the team behind the Laithwaites Wine brand to strengthen its wine range across its businesses in the UK, US, Continental Europe, Asia Pacific and India, where it has recently acquired a stake in the Wine Society of India.

Abi Hirshfeld, currently head of wine, will take on the role of wine director - buying and planning, responsible for the team of wine buyers in the UK and for a new global planning team.

Nick Taylor, currently wine director - USA, will return to the UK in March as merchandising director for the Laithwaites Wine business in the UK.

Current senior buyer Helen McEvoy will take a three month sabbatical in New Zealand, working on a winery to strengthen her knowledge of winemaking. McEvoy will return to the UK in April to take up a new role as wine manager - buying.

Kevin Davis, currently category planning manager, will become head of global planning, and current buyer Becca Reeves has been promoted to senior buyer. She will continue to be responsible for wine buying in South Africa, Chile, Rhone and Provence.

Justin Howard-Sneyd, global wine director at Direct Wines, said: "We are very proud of how we are successfully developing the Laithwaites Wine business both in the UK and around the world. These changes have been designed to strengthen how we buy and sell wine to meet the needs of our growing and increasingly international business."