Craig Aldous, CEO of Summergate Fine Wines & Spirits, has resigned and departed the company, only after 15 months on the job, Summergate’s parent company Woolworths Group announced yesterday.
This is the third CEO change for the wine importer in just 5 years after it was purchased by Woolworths in 2014. Its co-founder Ian Ford departed the company in 2016 and was succeeded by Rose Scott in the same year. Aldous took over from Scott in September last year.
In the announcement, Woolworths says Aldous made the decision to leave the company but did not reveal reasons.
As a result, the Summergate team will report to Chris Cramond, General Manager of Woolworths International and Director of Summergate.
The news announced on Wednesday is sending shock waves to China’s wine trade. As recent as September this year, Aldous was still elaborating on his plans for the wine company with Chinese media Vinehoo.com.
The importer, founded in 1999, seems to have gone through quite some shakeups this year including streamlining its distribution channels and laying off staff in Greater China region.
In Hong Kong, there are also key personnel changes as well. It appointed Sabrina Hosford as its new general manager for Hong Kong and Macau. Shortly, it hired Jennifer Docherty MW as its head of brand portfolio.
Aldous’ departure is the latest high-profile shake-up in China’s wine industry in a year that’s marked by slow imports and tepid wine sales amid the country’s slowing economy and prolonged US-China trade war.
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