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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Tim Atkin MW

Richard Macadam has resigned from his position as managing director of Oddbins, after six years at the helm of the award-winning Wimbledon-based high street specialist, and a total of 22 years with the company. He has been replaced by Gilles Le Besnerais of the Castel Group, with whom he has been working in recent months to ensure the future growth strategy of the business', according to a company press release. Macadam was not available for comment, but Le Besnerais thanked him for his invaluable help and assistance during the transition period' and the very significant contribution he has made to the Oddbins business over the years'. Le Besnerais has been working in London three days a week since January, but will now work in the capital full time. Despite rumours to the contrary, there are no other changes to the board and senior management structure at Oddbins. Insiders point to disappointing recent sales figures and Castel's intention to strengthen its grip on a business it paid 57 million to acquire as the reasons for Macadam's departure. Castel Group is cutting the range significantly and trying to increase margins,' one prominent supplier told Harpers. I hope they don't throw the baby out with the bath water.' Karen Sutton, Oddbins' spokeswoman, said that while there had been a reduction in the number of active lines, customers shouldn't notice the difference, as the stores will stock small parcels of wine as and when they become available. It will still be a very active range, but we don't want things to silt up in the stores.'