|Paul Schaafsma on move to Accolade Wines|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Tuesday, 07 August 2012 15:43|
The trade is speculating whether Paul Schaafsma, outgoing Australian Vintage general manager for the UK and Ireland, will bring a different culture to Accolade Wines.
Schaafsma will take up his new role at Accolade Wines as head of UK, Ireland and AMESCA (Americas, Middle East, Sub Continent and Africa) on September 3, and is currently on gardening leave until his departure on August 27.
Schaafsma has worked closely with the McGuigan family - those behind AV - for the past 14 years, while Accolade Wines is a much bigger corporation, owned by a private equity firm.
“I’d like to thank the McGuigan family, especially Brian, Fay, Neil and Lisa for everything over the past 14 years,” said Schaafsma.
“I was the first salesperson hired when the company started. I created the domestic sales team and built the salesforce to about 80 people.
“I’ve been in the UK for the last seven years and I’m immensely proud of the UK team. They’ve taken the McGuigan brand from nowhere to the eighth largest brand in the UK.”
On the move to private equity owned Accolade Wines, Schaafsma said: “I’m very excited to work with the Accolade brand and people.”
Accolade’s former UK & Europe general commercial manager, James Lousada, has left the company. According to the company he declined to take on the role managing the UK after it was announced his role was to be split into separate European and UK focused positions. Accolade Wines sells around 20 million cases per annum in the UK market.
Meanwhile, the trade has speculated on Twitter about what the move means. Angela Mount of YourFavouriteWines.com (@angelatalkswine) tweeted: “Paul Schaafsma did a brilliant job at Australian Vintage - what can he do at Accolade?”
Bibendum’s Iain Muggoch (@muggoch) wondered what the move would mean for the future of Australian Vintage, tweeting: “@angelatalkswine @harperswine ... makes me wonder about AVL independent future. I can foresee potential international interest!”
Australian Vintage's senior business manager Julian Dyer will act as Schaafsma's replacement at Australian Vintage in the interim.