The Henry Wine Group, the leading fine wine distributor in California, today announced the hiring of Rick Laforet as vice president of information technology. The job search for Laforet was completed using LeadersOnline (Leaders!), a leading Web-based e-Cruiting solution from Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. (Nasdaq:HSII)

Laforet comes to The Henry Wine Group after a 20-year career at Electronic Data Systems where he developed a wide range of international experience in telecommunications, financial services and Internet applications.

"Rick's Internet experience at EDS will make him a valuable player for The Henry Wine Group," said Fred Reno, president, The Henry Wine Group. "As we focus on business-to-business transactions, Rick will be a key player in helping us meet these new challenges."

Laforet will be responsible for managing the IS department. He also will work closely with Reno to design and implement an e-commerce business plan.

Leaders! provides client companies, such as The Henry Wine Group, the opportunity to quickly access large numbers of qualified candidates, shorten the cycle time necessary to fill search assignments and ease the search process through Web tools that facilitate candidate sourcing, tracking and matching. For prospective candidates, the Leaders! solution provides a confidential and secure environment that is suitable for both active and passive job seekers, and provides prospective candidates quick access to leading global employers in a variety of industries.

"Working with LeadersOnline helped us quickly identify qualified IT managers," said Reno. "We are very pleased with the timelines and obviously with the quality of the Leaders! solution."

"Our product offering blends the efficiencies of the Internet with proven executive search practices to ensure quality and speed in delivering candidates to our clients," said Mike Christy, president, LeadersOnline.

"We look forward to a continued relationship with The Henry Wine Group."

About The Henry Wine Group

The Henry Wine Group has been recognized during the past five years within the wine industry as a pioneer in its efforts to integrate information technology into its business practice. Founded in 1985 by Warner Henry, the company believes in developing strategies for its supplier partners that can then be implemented in the market to achieve their individual strategic brand plans. The company's mission is to provide seamless service from producer to customer.

About LeadersOnline

LeadersOnline is a leading business-to-business Internet marketplace that enables efficient and effective aggregation, matching and fulfillment of employer demand with candidate supply in the recruitment market for mid-level executives and professionals. As of March 31, 2000, more than 110 companies located throughout the United States and Europe have used LeadersOnline's value-added Internet-based services to match and recruit candidates into a broad range of functions. LeadersOnline is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with operations throughout North America and Europe. For more information about LeadersOnline, visit the company's Web site at