By Andy Young

Accolade Wines has announced that Paul Schaafsma will be its new chief executive officer, succeeding John Ratcliffe, who will become the deputy chairman.

Schaafsma is currently employed as Accolade's general manager UK and Ireland and has been involved in the wine industry for nearly 20 years. For the last three years Schaafsma has headed Accolade's presence in the UK and Ireland and has overseen 70 per cent growth. In that time Hardys the leading wine brand in the UK on trade and off trade, has increased its market share by almost 16 per cent.

Schaafsma will take from Ratcliffe who, as the deputy chairman, will continue to advise on the strategic development of the company.

In a statement Accolade's board paid tribute Ratcliffe's working, saying: "Under John's leadership Accolade Wines has delivered industry-leading performance

with a portfolio centred on Hardys, one of the world’s most illustrious wine brands, which has sales in 150 countries within reach.

"As a result of this success and after five years, firstly as advisor to the business and then its CEO, the Board and John have agreed that he become non executive Deputy Chairman ahead of time. John will pursue his other business activities while continuing to provide strategic advice to the Board."

Schaafsma will take up his appointment on 1 October.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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