The UK’s largest wine specialist, Majestic Wine, has today announced that its Chief Executive Steve Lewis is retiring, with ‘immediate effect’.
Lewis has spent 29 years in the British company, having started as a graduate trainee manager in Clapham, before rising to his position as Chief Executive six years ago. He feels now is the right time for the company to make a transition, stating:
“The business is entering a busy and exciting next phase and now is the right time to hand over to a new leader. I wish everyone at Majestic Wine all the best for the future.”
Lewis is set to be temporarily replaced by Nigel Alldritt, the company’s Finance Director, who will become Interim Chief Executive until a successful candidate has been placed. Alldritt himself has worked on the company’s board for 13 years, also focusing on IT and logistics. For the meantime his attention will be on pushing the company’s distribution networks, product choice and customer service, as the company continues to grow its commercial and fine wine sales channels.
Phil Wrigley, Majestic Wine Chairman is optimistic about the judicious change, while also paying homage to his former colleague, “He (Lewis) took the helm in 2008 in the midst of the credit crunch”, something he is certain “steered the business through very difficult times”. Wrigley believes that Lewis has left the business in “good shape” for the move around, as sales have increased by 41% and profit by 42% in his time as Chairman. Lewis has ensured the company is, “well positioned for the next phase of its development”.