Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Simon Thorpe MW steps down as WineGB CEO

Published:  03 April, 2023

It is all change for WineGB as the trade organisation announces it is looking for a new CEO.

Simon Thorpe MW has been at the helm of WineGB in the top position since 2020. During that time, he has overseen an “exciting and dynamic time in UK wine”.

However, the former Fells commercial director is now stepping back, with Thorpe’s decision to relinquish the title of CEO driven by a desire to return to his roots as an importer and distributor - and will now be joining the team at Thorman Hunt as MD. 

In a concluding statement, he said: “WineGB now represents over 80% of the 4000+ ha of UK vineyards and producers with strong growth projections, so the industry and organisation are in great shape and we should be proud of what we’ve achieved. It is a truly exciting time for viticulture and wine making in this country, the future is bright and I will be cheering its progress from the sidelines.”

Chair of WineGB, Sam Linter, said it was disappointing to see him go. However, she thanked Thorpe for his “hard work as our CEO”, while adding that the organisation is extremely excited about the future of the UK wine industry and the prospect of appointing a new CEO to help deliver its ongoing vision.

This includes the imminent revision of the organisation’s PDO/PGI scheme as well as the continuation of the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain initiative. Of course, there is also the ongoing push to increase membership.

This will give “us a stronger voice”, Linter said. “We now represent over 80% of wine production in the UK which means we legitimately speak for the industry.”

Thorpe’s last day is officially 31 May, with a new CEO to be announced in due course.

At Thorman Hunt, Thorpe will join alongside another new hire, Samuel Bisson, who joins as operations manager.

In a statement, the company said: "Simon Thorpe is an eminent Master of Wine and Francophone, who has a wealth of experience at the helm of several key UK wine businesses, most recently WineGB. Simon’s wide-ranging experience of the UK wine trade embraces top-end retailing, buying, major brand representation as well as sales to wholesale and on-trade customers. He will join us later in June as managing director."