Shetlands-based company Blackwood Distillers has appointed a former Diageo executive as its chairman.

Tony Mair, most recently corporate affairs director at Diageo Great Britain, has been unveiled by the spirits group as its executive chairman with immediate effect. Mair will work with company founder and CEO Caroline Whitfield with a view to launching an IPO within the next three years.

He will replace Arthur Davies, who stepped down as chairman earlier this year.

"Tony Mair's appointment is fantastic news," said Whitfield yesterday (2 August). "He will be mainly focused on developing key international markets including duty free as well as responsibilities as board chair."

Mair added: "There is no question that there is growing space in our industry for original and innovating brands at premium prices."

Mair has spent ten years of his career as managing director of a succession of branded drinks businesses for GrandMet and Diageo in the UK, including MD of Diageo GB Brands. He has also been chairman of the Gin & Vodka Association.