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Vagabond appoints MD to allow Finch to go back to ‘what he does best’

Published:  07 January, 2021

Vagabond Wines has appointed Matthew Fleming, formerly of Be At One and Stonegate Pub Company, as its new MD.

Fleming took on his new role with the hybrid merchant 4 January. He joins the business from Stonegate where he was head of drinks innovation, prior to which he was the head of innovation at Be At One (subsequently acquired by Stonegate).

He takes over from Andrew Stones, who was appointed interim MD at Vagabond last summer.

Finch, who will remain an executive director focusing on innovation, NPD, technology and international expansion, told Harpers the business had been in discussions with Fleming for the MD role since the start of 2020, but the pandemic had “put those discussion on hold”.

“We are super psyched he’s now on board and with only three days under his belt he’s already making a big difference,” he added.

“The truth is, I’m an entrepreneur.  And there are much better managers out there than me. I believe Matt is and will be seen as amongst the very best. And this leadership change allows me to get back to what I do best — create crazy sh*t”,” he said.

As part of its plans going forward, Vagabond is reported to be talks with prospective partners regarding a launch in Germany, with the hope that a first site could be open there before the end of this year. 

It is also still hoping to launch a site in Shoreditch later this spring followed by a site on the South Bank in the summer.