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Accolade Wines has confirmed the appointment of a new CEO, almost exactly a year after the previous incumbent stepped down.

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John Ratcliffe, formerly of Oddbins and Seagram, will assume the role on 3 February, the Australia-headquartered company said earlier today (10 December). Ratcliffe fills the position vacated by Troy Christensen in late-November last year.

Christensen was CEO of Constellation Brands' Australian and UK wine operations when it was bought by CHAMP Private Equity, and renamed Accolade, in 2011.

Having joined UK wine retailer Oddbins as a junior assistant in 1982, Ratcliffe moved up through the company to be deputy MD from 1994 to 1996. He left the company in 1996 to join Seagram as commercial director, becoming MD of Seagram UK in 1997. He also assumed the leadership of Seagram's Nordics division. Ratcliffe then founded WineConsult, a UK based consultancy firm for the full wine chain, in 2002.

"John has been a key adviser to the company throughout CHAMP's involvement with Accolade," said CHAMP's MD, John Haddock. "Through his work with the board on key strategic initiatives, it became increasingly apparent that John's capabilities were an ideal fit for leadership of the company.

"With the recent appointment of Steve Gorst as chief financial & operating officer, we are very pleased that the senior management team at Accolade is now complete."


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