Majestic Wine is toasting to James Crawford, currently Finance Director of Naked Wines, but soon to be Majestic Wine’s newest Chief Financial Officer and company secretary, replacing Nigel Alldritt after 13 years.
It came as something of a surprise when Britain’s biggest wine specialist Majestic Wine, acquired its smaller rival Naked Wines, the customer-funded online wine retailer. The £70m takeover had been kept relatively quiet, and it all happened rather fast, but the merger was a natural fit, marrying Naked Wines' online with e-commerce skills and Majestic's national store network.
The appointment of Crawford comes after Naked Wines Founder Rowan Gormley was appointed CEO following Steve Lewis’s ousting. Lewis spent 29 years with Majestic but hit a wall last year when the business issued a profit warning and sluggish Christmas trade revealed stagnant sales growth and lower margins.
Chairman Phil Wrigley said the next three years would be “a period of rapid development as we transform the enlarged business into a multi-channel, international wine specialist".
“We have started to execute our plans at pace and the board has decided that now is the right time to establish the leadership team for the future.
Nigel has been a great finance director and made a huge contribution to Majestic's success during his 13 years with the business. I personally thank him for his hard work and wish him well for the future.”
He added that Crawford had “the right financial skills, industry knowledge and international experience to help lead us through the next phase of our development."