The Wine Society has concluded its search for a permanent chief executive.

The UK-based wine merchant, which saw previous CEO Oliver Johnson stand down last year, confirmed today (17 January) that Robin McMillan will take up the post in May. McMillan joins The Wine Society from Berry Bros & Rudd, where he has been chief operating officer and a board member since 2006.

Having joined BB&R in 1994, he has held a variety of posts covering retail, sales, operations, customer service, international business development, HR and logistics.

“Robin joins us at a very important time for The Society,” said company chairman Sarah Evans. “Last year, we were voted International Wine Challenge 'Merchant of the Year'. But, with a tough economic environment and fierce competition, there is much to do to ensure that The Society remains at the forefront of the industry.”

Johnson, who left the merchant in August, moved “to take various non-executive roles out of the drinks trade,” a spokesperson for the company told just-drinks earlier today. Since his departure, the head of finance at the Society, Richard Shorrocks, has assumed the role on a temporary basis.