The Robert Mondavi Corporation today announced that R. Michael Mondavi has resigned as an officer and as vice-chairman of the company. He will continue to serve as a director on the board, the company said.

"This is the right time for me to pursue my own personal interests," R. Michael Mondavi said. "I want to thank the dedicated and passionate employees and their families for their terrific support and success that they have helped us achieve in the past 38 years. It has been a pleasure to work with talented partners, business associates, growers, distributors, retailers, restaurateurs, and hoteliers in building our vision to bring fine California wine to tables of consumers around the world."

Michael Mondavi joined Robert Mondavi Winery as one of three original employees at the time of its founding, by his father Robert G. Mondavi, in 1966. During his tenure with the company, Mr. Mondavi served as president and CEO as well as chairman of the board.

"On behalf of the board of directors, we thank Michael for his unique contributions and personal leadership as the company has grown from very small beginnings in 1966 to a major force in the global wine industry today," said chairman Ted Hall.

Gregory M. Evans, president and CEO said: "As a founder of the Robert Mondavi Winery, Michael Mondavi has helped shape our company from its inception. The entire management team - past and present - is very grateful for all of his contributions and wish him the best."

"It has been an honour to serve as an executive and director of the company over the past 38 years. I plan to continue to be a contributing and positive influence as a director of the Company moving forward," Michael Mondavi concluded.

Michael Mondavi and his wife recently trademarked a wine brand called IM. The company said that it did not have information about this brand name, but pointed out that it was not involved.