Lew Platt, the CEO of California winemaker Kendall-Jackson, has announced he is to leave the company to pursue an "active retirement" which will include some corporate board and philanthropic work.

The announcement comes only weeks after Kendall-Jackson was pulled off the acquisition market following bids for the business by the likes off BRL Hardy, Diageo and Brown-Forman.

It is thought that owner Jess Jackson's reluctance to give up the winery he founded was behind the decision to pull the business off the acquisition market.

Platt had been bought into Kendall-Jackson to help transform it into a global wine power and his decision to retire will no doubt be seen as stemming from his failure to convince Jackson to sell, which many observers saw as KJ's best opportunity to establish itself as a global player.

In a statement the company said: "The completion of major organisational assignments for Kendall-Jackson are at the core of Platt's decision. Kendall-Jackson recently considered various strategic options, and elected to remain a closely held family enterprise, owned by Jess Jackson and his family. With the completion of the structural moves that accompany such a decision, Platt said he feels he will be 'leaving a strong organisation in place'."

Platt will continue his work as a director of the Boeing Company and the Packard Foundation, and will consider serving on additional corporate and philanthropic boards.

Barbara Banke, co-founder and chair of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, will shortly announce the transition to the existing management team, which Platt helped put in place.