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Majestic finance chief steps down

Published:  07 August, 2015

Nigel Alldritt, group chief financial officer and company secretary of Majestic Wine, is to leave the company in November.

He will be replaced by James Crawford, currently finance director of Naked Wines, which was bought by Majestic earlier this year in a deal worth £70m.

Alldritt joined Majestic as finance director in 2002. He has been responsible for finance, IT and logistics within the group for 13 years.

He acted as interim chief executive for several months following the abrupt departure of chief executive Steve Lewis in February.

Majestic experienced an exceptionally difficult trading period last year, with profits and margins being slashed. The company also caused outrage in the industry in 2014 by asking suppliers to retrospectively fund a new warehouse, a move slammed by high-street rival Oddbins as "morally repugnant".

Naked Wines founder Rowan Gormley took the chief executive role as part of his company's merger with Majestic.

Crawford joined Naked Wines in March 2014 after 13 years at Diageo in a range of senior finance, business development and strategy roles.

Alldritt's announcement was made at Majestic's AGM yesterday.

Phil Wrigley, Majestic chairman, said: "Following our acquisition of Naked Wines the enlarged Majestic business has entered a new and exciting growth phase as we capitalise on our complimentary skills in stores and online.

"The next three years will be a period of rapid development as we transform the enlarged business into a multi-channel, international wine specialist.

"We have started to execute our plans at pace and the board has decided that now is the right time to establish the leadership team for the future.

"Having worked with James throughout the acquisition process the board is confident that he has the right financial skills, industry knowledge and international experience to help lead us through the next phase of our development."