Online & DigitalPeople Moves

Naked Wines chairman to step down

Naked Wines chairman, John Walden, has announced he will step down from the position.

Walden has informed the board of his intention to step down as chairman of the group and leave the board after the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 6 August due to “personal reasons”.

Walden said: “It has been a privilege to lead Naked through its transformation to a pure-play online business, its continued growth and recent successful response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“It was a difficult personal decision to step down at this juncture however, it is the right decision for myself and Naked Wines. I leave the business in a strong position to grow and to realise its promise for an extraordinary future.”

The company announced Ian Harding, senior independent director, chair of the remuneration committee and non-executive director (NED), will be appointed as chairman until his scheduled retirement from the board in the summer of 2021. 

Harding joined the board in June 2013. Prior to this he spent 19 years in various senior roles within Kingfisher and eight years at ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm PwC.

He said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank John for his guidance and support during his time as chairman. 

“He led the board through the execution of the sale of the Majestic businesses, Naked’s formative stages of becoming a pure-play online business with an enhanced focus on the US market, and the unprecedented trading conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The news comes as the group reported a 67% increase in total sales, bringing its sales growth for the first quarter to 77%.

The company said its board continues to believe that Naked is “ideally positioned to be a long-term winner from the inflection in consumer demand for online wine as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic”. 

It said: “Uncertainty as to the extent and duration that current trading conditions will persist means that the group is not providing full guidance for the financial year, but it will keep the market updated on its trading performance as appropriate.”

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