English sparkling wine producer Gusbourne has promoted marketing chief Jonathan White to the position of CEO designate following a six-month search.
White joined Gusbourne in 2018 as head of marketing, later taking the job of marketing director. Previously, he held marketing roles with distributor Armit Wines and wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros & Rudd.
Gusbourne chairman Jim Ormonde said: “In the five and a half years he has worked at Gusbourne, he has shown real passion and commitment to building the Gusbourne brand into one of the UK’s most prestigious wine brands. He brings an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the business along with great leadership qualities and significant wine industry experience.”
The publicly-listed Gusbourne announced in June that CEO Charlie Holland would step down on 6 September. Holland left Gusbourne for a position at Jackson Family Wines where he is leading a project for the US group to launch English wines.
Gusbourne director Mike Paul acted as interim CEO in Holland’s absence. Paul will now return to his position on the board as a non-executive director.
The company has also announced a shuffling of its wider leadership team. Global sales director Simone Bradbury has been named chief commercial officer. CFO Katharine Berry, meanwhile, will take on additional responsibilities for the group’s vineyard and wine operations.
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In Gusbourne’s results for the six months ended 30 June, it posted revenue of £3.6m ($4.7m), versus £3.3m a year earlier.
While DTC and UK trade wine sales were both up, 21% to £650,000 and 25% to £1.6m, respectively, international sales declined by 7% to £742,000.
It booked a net loss of £1.4m, against a loss of £1.3m a year earlier.
The Fifty One Degrees North brand owner cited export timing issues for the fall in international sales, as high levels of stock were present in two of its larger markets at the start of 2023.
At the time, Gusbourne forecast full-year net revenue growth of approximately 20%.
Speaking in October when the group gave a harvest update, interim CEO Paul said: “2023 will mark Gusbourne’s biggest yield to date, but what is crucially important is that the vineyard team have maintained the high quality of the fruit which is the building block for our award-winning wine. The winemaking team, led by Mary Bridges our head winemaker, are delighted with the potential for an amazing 2023 vintage. The resulting wines will be bottled during 2024, further adding to our inventory levels for sale in future years.”