John Armit, the founder and chairman of London fine wine merchant Armit, is stepping down after more than 25 years at the head of the company.
Armit set the business up in the 1980s, moving from sticking labels on bottles in Corney & Barrow in the early days to being chairman of a business with a £40m turnover.
As managing director he pioneered the practice of buying direct from suppliers in Bordeaux, most famously with Chateau Petrus.
Armit has also been a successful entrepreneur on the London club scene, helping to establish venues such as The Groucho Club, Zanzibar, Dingwalls and 192.
‘Of course standing down is tinged with regret, but I feel the time is right and I have no doubt that the excellent team in place will carry on the good work,’ Armit said.
Armit chief executive Ian Ronald, who now runs the company with the rest of its senior management team, praised Armit as ‘a man of great character and personality, driven and creative’.
Armit will formally resign as chairman before the end of the financial year and will remain a shareholder, but has already withdrawn from day-to-day involvement with the business.
Written by Richard Woodard