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WSET appoints Brampton as new CEO

Published:  11 January, 2022

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has appointed Michelle Brampton as its new CEO, replacing the incumbent Ian Harris, who will step down on 15 April.

The change of leadership becomes effective on 1 February, when Michelle will join the WSET and spend two months working alongside Harris.

Michelle Brampton brings a wealth of industry experience to the role; she spent 19 years at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), where she most recently held the role of MD Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) from 2018 to 2021.

During this time Brampton was also on the boards of both The Drinks Trust and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

“The Trustees are delighted that Michelle has accepted our invitation to lead the WSET in the coming years. Michelle’s track record at Treasury Wine Estates and, more recently her wider role in the drinks trade, make her the ideal successor to Ian, following his remarkable 20 years as CEO,” said chair of the WSET Board, Simon McMurtrie.

“Under Ian’s leadership, the WSET has experienced spectacular growth. When Ian joined the business in 2002, 10,000 students were enrolled annually – two thirds of them from the UK. In the last academic year over 108,000 students in 70 countries around the world took one of the WSET’s nine qualifications, with 87% from outside the UK,” he added.

Ian Harris commented: “I am really pleased to be passing the WSET baton into Michelle’s very capable hands. With the breadth and depth of her experience, she will lead the organisation into a new era of business growth, navigating WSET through today’s increasingly challenging global landscape.”

Alongside existing trustees, Simon McMurtrie (Chair), Dan Jago, Jo Locke and Allen Gibbons, the WSET has also made four new appointments to its board.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive, WSTA and Jo Thornton, MD, Moet Hennessy Europe join as representatives of the Vintners’ Company. Lulie Halstead, CEO, Wine Intelligence and Sukhinder Singh, MD, The Whisky Exchange join as representatives of the WSTA. They all join with immediate effect.

They take over from Troy Christensen, Rick Connor, Susan McCraith and Michael Turner, who have come to the end of their successful terms as trustees.