Accolade is hoping to improve its "flexibility" with the European split

Accolade is hoping to improve its "flexibility" with the European split

Accolade Wines has announced a shake-up of its European management structure, which will see the business split into two divisons and its regional boss step down.

The company said today (6 August) it is dividing the region into "Mainland Europe" and "UK and Ireland" in a bid to add "flexibility" to the business. The changes mean the current role of European commercial general manager is being split. 

James Lousada, Accolade's current European general manager, has decided to quit the company with "immediate effect" as a result of the move, the wine firm said. Lousada has been with Accolade, in the same role, since April 2009. A company spokeperson declined to comment on Lousada's future plans. 

Troy Christensen, Accolade's chief executive, said: “We are sorry to see James leave the business, as he has done an excellent job. However, creating focus on these two parts of the business is vital for Accolade Wines moving forward."

He added: “We need the dual focus to ensure that we can act with greater pace and flexibility at this challenging time for the wine industry."

Ted Popov, previously Accolade's sales director mainland Europe, will take up the new role of commercial general manager for mainland Europe.

Accolade's new commercial general manager for the UK & Ireland has been recruited externally. Paul Schaafsma, currently Australian Vintage's general manager UK & Ireland, will take up the post from 3 September. Schaafsma has been in his role with Australian Vintage since February 2005. 

Last month, Accolade struck a bottling deal with its Australian competitor Treasury Wine Estates, to allow it to focus on growing sales in North America and Asia.