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Jago leaves Bibendum

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bibendum's joint managing director Dan Jago - one of the best-known members of the UK wine trade - is leaving the company he joined 15 years ago.

Jago, 44, told Harpers, that he is not leaving to take up a position anywhere else and has no firm plans at present. I'm actually going on a proper gardening leave, since I have a proper garden down in Wiltshire that needs gardening. I can see myself doing a lot of mowing over the next few months.'

Bibendum's other joint managing director, Michael Saunders, will take up the position of managing director from 1 March.

I always knew when we split the managing-director job five years ago that there would come a time when the company would have to be steered by just one person,' explained Jago. With the recent appointment of Jeremy Young as chief operating officer [recruited from DHL], any concerns about how the business would operate without me have gone, and it seemed like the right time. I remain a significant shareholder and will take a keen interest in the business, although I won't be sitting on the board.'

He added that he would return to the wine industry without a doubt' at some point. It's a brilliant industry to work in - it's not like selling photocopiers. The balance of power in the industry has changed so much in the past five years that your eyes water, but there are still fabulous people in the wine trade, and we all sell a wonderful product.'

Jago currently sits on the committees of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Wine Trade Action Group, Wines of Argentina, Wines of Chile and Wines of South Africa. I will offer up my resignation to all the committees I sit on, but if any of them want me to stay, then fine, I'm happy to.'

In a statement, the directors of Bibendum said: Dan has jointly led the executive team during the most exciting period of growth the company has ever seen, when Bibendum has grown from a modest company into the leading independent wine distributor in the UK.

We would like to thank Dan for the enormous contribution he has made to the growth and success of the company, and we wish him all the very best in his future career.'