Xanadu Wines has announced that Sam Atkins has been officially been appointed managing director of the company, effective from Thursday November 27, 2003.

Prior to joining Xanadu Wines Limited, Atkins was managing director of Next Generation Wines (NXG), which was acquired by Xanadu in August 2002. Whilst with Xanadu, he has held the roles of general manager of trading and general manager of the Adelaide Hills site. He has also held senior sales, marketing and business development roles within the international division of BRL Hardy.

The board of Xanadu Wines Limited also today announced that it will broaden its directorship base to include more diverse wine industry and operational experience.

Consequently, non-executive director Trevor Clohessy, who has been a strong advocate for this change to the board structure, has advised he will resign from the board to facilitate this process.

Clohessy, who is up for re-election at this week's Annual General Meeting, has said he will resign when a suitably qualified independent person is found or when that process is substantially underway. Clohessy said he is keen for that appointment to be sooner rather that later.

As part of these initiatives, Atkins is also working to form an industry advisory board based in South Australia. This team will work closely alongside Atkins to further develop the company.

Atkins said: "This new advisory board that we are pulling together will complement the management team, and will be utilised by senior management for direct consultation at all times. It will be a great asset to the company as we continue to grow and expand globally."