Virgin Wines chief is made redundant

Virgin Wines marketing director Shiona McDougall has been made redundant following a management restructure. It is not known whether she has a job to go to.

McDougall joined Virgin Wines when it launched four years ago. She was previously head of acquisition marketing for cable company NTL.

Virgin Wines chief executive Rowan Gormley confirms McDougall’s departure and says that her role is being handled by other senior managers, including himself.

Gormley – who was chief executive of Virgin Direct – founded Virgin Wines four years ago, and Virgin Group took a 49 per cent stake. However, one month ago Virgin Group sold its stake to online and mail-order wine company Direct Wines, which operates as Laithwaites and The Sunday Times Wine Club.

Gormley says that Direct Wines will be a “passive partner”, and that Virgin Wines will continue to be run as a separate operation with its own marketing, customer list, fulfilment and back-office operations. “Virgin Wines’ brand positioning will be very different to Laithwaites,” he says.

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