Ian Atherton to step down as Spirits Platform CEO

24 January, 2020 by Andy Young

Ian Atherton has revealed his intention to step back from the day-to-day operations as CEO of Spirits Platform at the end of September this year, but he will stay involved with the company taking up the role of Chairman.

Mungo Gilchrist, who has over 35 years’ experience in consumer marketing businesses in the Asia Pacific Region, will join Spirits Platform from Remy Cointreau.

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Atherton told TheShout: “I am going to step down at the end of September. Mungo Gilchrist, who is currently a director on the Board, and he’s the Managing Director for Remy Cointreau in South East Asia, is going to move to Australia and join us at Spirits Platform. He will take over as the CEO and I will become the Chairman.

While Atherton said that the Remy business is around 45 per cent of Spirits Platform’s total business, that wasn’t an influence in Gilchrist coming into the role.

“It was more that when we set up the business five years ago Mungo was very instrumental in helping us do that,” Atherton said. “He is a very pragmatic operator and I think he’ll be a good leader of the business.”

In terms of what Atherton will do now, he told TheShout: “This will free me up to do other things now. I’ve been doing the same role, as such in terms of being very operational and hands-on, for the last 37 years, so I want to actually do something a little bit different. But I love the business and I’ll be very connected to it from a strategic point of view, I just won’t be running the day-to-day operations.”

Atherton said that he was very happy with the shape that the Spirits Platform business is in, saying: “We got a good brand mix, a very good portfolio of premium whiskies, premium liqueurs, Cognacs, gins – we are covering all the bases.

“I’m very comfortable with it, and it’s time now after five years and getting it established and getting it going to get somebody else in to take it on from here.

“We had a plan when we started the business five years ago and we have met that plan. So I am exactly where I wanted to be and I am very happy with the way that it is going and the way it has developed over the last five years, and that’s why this is now a good time for me to step back.”

Atherton was adamant that “I am definitely not retiring, this is not retirement”.

He added: “I’m just stepping back from the day-to-day role, but in the Chairman’s role I will still be very involved in the strategic part of the business and helping the management team to grow the business wherever possible.”