InterContinental Brands (ICB) has poached a senior executive from Constellation Europe to become its managing director.

The UK-based wine and spirits company, which was formed in 1990, confirmed yesterday (6 May) that John Mills will join ICB from Constellation Europe, where he was senior vice president of European sales.

Mills has been with Constellation Europe for 16 years, during which he has held the positions of senior vice president for off-trade sales, and managing director of the independently-operated Gaymer Cider Company.

"This is a major appointment and very much in line with our strategy and vision for the company," said ICB co-founder Paul Burton. "He (Mills) has just the energy, high level expertise, leadership qualities and focus that will most assist us in driving our business on to the next level."

Mills added: "ICB ... has not yet attained its full potential. I am really delighted to be making this move and looking forward to launching new brands,developing new channels and driving ICB forward."

InterContinental manufactures and distributes over 50 brands, including Vodkat Classic Schnapps, St Helier pear cider and wine brand The Italian Job. In 2007, private equity house LDC took a minority stake in the business to enable the company to make strategic acquisitions and broaden its distribution base.