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Paul Schaafsma to step down as CEO of Accolade Wines in coming months

Published:  30 August, 2016

Paul Schaafsma is set to step down as the chief executive officer of Accolade Wines in the coming months, but may stay on through the company's initial public offering which is set for next year, according to sources.

Schaafsma was appointed CEO in October 2015 following a four year stint as the general manager for the UK, Ireland & global partners. Prior to joining Accolade Wines, he held various leadership positions at Australian Vintage Limited which he joined in 1998. He has been based between London and Australia since he was appointed the head of the company. 

Michael East the general manager of Accolade's operations in Australia and Asia has been tapped as the successor.  East has over three decades of experience in the wine trade. He has been appointed as deputy chief executive, which is effective immediately.

Earlier this month Accolade Wines' majority owner, private equity firm CHAMP, formally appointed Reunion Capital Partners as an adviser for the company's initial public offering (IPO).

The company has not yet announced whether the expected AUD$1 billion or more valued IPO will be listed on the Australian or London Stock Exchange.

Under Schaafsma leadership the company' strategy was to set to be one of the biggest New World wine suppliers. He said in an interview with, following the acquisition of Chilean wine brand Anakena at the start of the year: "We want to be the number one New World wine supplier. To be honest I don't think that anyone else has the portfolio of countries that we do, to the scale, size and brand level awareness that we do. We are the one-stop shop for New World wines. With the acquisitions in New Zealand, South Africa, America and now Chile with Anakena we have a real New World portfolio for wine."