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Kingsland Drinks MD steps down and exits industry

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Ed Baker has stepped down as MD of Kingsland Drinks
Ed Baker has stepped down as MD of Kingsland Drinks
Kingsland Drinks managing director Ed Baker has announced he is to step down from the role and leave the drinks industry altogether.

He departs from the wine and spirits maker after a more than a decade with the company, having taken up the mantle as MD in 2019.

During his time in the role, Baker oversaw the reinstatement of Kingsland’s onsite winery and the creation of a new laboratory to help improve its NPD capabilities. In 2021, he helped transition the company into an employee-owned model.

‘Personal crusade’

Commenting on his tenure with the business, Baker said: “The lifeblood and success of the drinks industry overall has been a personal crusade. It has been my pleasure to lead Kingsland Drinks and its members, while advocating for my peers alongside the WSTA. I’m leaving behind a talented, capable and energetic team positioned to win in the years ahead.

“Although I am leaving the drinks industry for a new chapter in my career, I do so confident that investment in our team, business model and strategic direction in recent years has created a strong and competitive business.”

Kingsland is already on the hunt for Baker’s replacement who will oversee the entire business. His departure followed a string of senior appointments at the drinks firm, including  Andy Henderson as operations director, Mark Riley as commercial director and Simon Shelbourn as chief financial officer.

‘Integral part of the company’

Andy Sagar, chairman of Kingsland Drinks Group, added: “Ed has been an integral part of our company since the day he joined as Finance Director. We’ll miss him greatly, but he leaves a strong business that has sustainable investment in people and capabilities that will continue to drive our business forward.

“While it’s sad to see such a well-respected figure exit the industry, I am confident we have a strong leadership team, and immense capability across the entire business. aligned with excellent relationships with all our stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, professor Susan Jebb will continue as chair of the Food Standards Agency​ (FSA) after her appointment was extended.

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