Paul Schaafsma became CEO of Accolade Wines less than a year ago

Paul Schaafsma became CEO of Accolade Wines less than a year ago

Accolade Wines has confirmed reports that its CEO, Paul Schaafsma, is set to step down in the coming months.

Citing an internal memo, the Australian Financial Review said yesterday that Schaafsma "didn't want to commit to the role for the next few years". The news comes three weeks after Accolade's owner, CHAMP Private Equity, appointed a stock listing advisor ahead of a planned initial public offering in the first half of 2017.

When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Accolade confirmed the reports.

Schaafsma, who joined Accolade from Australian Vintage in 2012, assumed the CEO role in October last year. He replaced John Ratcliffe, who had held the post for less than two years.

Accolade also confirmed that it has lined up Michael East, its general manager for Asia, Australia and New Zealand, to succeed Schaafsma. East has become deputy CEO ahead of Schaafsma's departure at some point prior to the IPO.

For an exclusive, two-part just-drinks interview with Paul Schaafsma from earlier this year, click here