Laura Jewell MW is to leave her role as Tesco's head of wine product development to become Wine Australia's director for the UK and Europe.
Wine Australia brought forward its official announcement of Jewell’s appointment following trade media speculation. She is to take up her new role on 23 February next year, the trade body said today (27 November).
Jewell’s departure from Tesco comes at a difficult time for the UK’s biggest supermarket. It reported a 92% drop in net profits for first half of its current financial year.
Its long-standing head of beer, wine and spirits, Dan Jago, was understood to have been suspended last month alongside several other directors, pending an inquiry into the overstatement of profits that has since been taken up by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. Tesco has not confirmed the names of the directors suspended.
Wine Australia has been without a UK director since the death of Yvonne May at the end of August. Many in the trade paid tribute to May, who joined Wine Australia in 2011 and was credited with revitalising support for the trade body amid disquiet among several of the largest Australian wine companies.
Jewell, who is one of only 319 Masters of Wine in the world, said she couldn’t wait to get started in the new role.
‘I’ve dedicated my career to wine and worked across many different parts of the value chain. I’ve always found Australian wine to be of consistently high quality and the diversity of Australia’s 65 wine regions is an incredibly exciting story.’
Written by Chris Mercer