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Majestic’s Rob Cooke joins WSTA board

Published:  28 April, 2023

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has welcomed Majestic’s COO, Rob Cooke, to its board this month.

Cooke sits on the Majestic executive team and oversees Majestic’s e-commerce, buying and marketing functions, as well as Majestic Commercial – its fast-growing on-trade arm which signed up more than 400 new bars, pubs and restaurants during 2022. 

Commenting on his appointment, Rob Cooke said: “I’m delighted to be joining the WSTA board. As the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, Majestic has a responsibility to be a force for good and advocate for positive change across the wine industry, for the benefit of our customers, colleagues and suppliers. I’m looking forward to working with Miles and the rest of the WSTA board to build a sustainable future for the trade.”

Cooke played a crucial part in Majestic’s turnaround since it moved back into private ownership in 2019 after separating from Naked Wines. His vast experience in the wine trade dates back more than a decade. He joined Majestic from Tesco, where he was category director for beers, wines and spirits. He also spent four years at Sainsbury’s as head of non-food transformation and then head of buying. 

The WSTA represents more than 300 companies producing, importing, exporting, transporting and selling wines and spirits in the United Kingdom. The organisation has continued to fight fires on the road to recovery, following major disruption brought about by the pandemic and with bumper tax rises looming on the horizon, the addition of the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer to its top team will further strengthen its standing within the industry.

WSTA CEO Miles Beale said: “Rob’s appointment is a welcome addition to the growing WSTA board and he brings with him a wealth of expertise in wine and spirit retail.

“The UK’s wine and spirit businesses and consumers face some of the highest tax increases in decades, as well as complex and costly deposit return scheme proposals and all alongside a backdrop of punishing pandemic losses. Facing these challenges, it is important that we work together to campaign for more support for the wine and spirit trade.”

Following Cook’s appointment, the WSTA is looking to continue to diversify its board by recruiting four new members, below CEO/principal level, chosen for their different business expertise and perspectives.

In its call-to-action, the WSTA stated: “We want to hear from individuals working at companies within its membership who feel they can bring fresh skills, experience and perspective, preferably from the following categories: SMEs, UK wine and spirit producers, importers/exporters, wholesalers or merchants with skills and qualifications, including qualified lawyers or procurement, HR, communication, ICT training, data and education specialists.” 

For more information about the WSTA and to apply click here.