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Accolade Taps Industry Veteran Ratcliffe As CEO

December 10, 2013

Accolade Wines, which has been seeking a chief executive since former CEO Troy Christensen departed just over a year ago, has hired veteran wine industry executive John Ratcliffe to lead the company. Ratcliffe, formerly Managing Director of Seagram UK, has spent the past decade as a consultant to the boards of multinationals, financial institutions, distributors, retailers and suppliers around the globe. He has also been an adviser to Accolade owner Champ Private Equity since Accolade was formed in early 2011 when Champ acquired an 80% stake in Constellation Brands’ Australian and European wine business, according to Champ managing director and Accolade project director John Haddock.

Christensen, formerly head of operations for Constellation Wines Australia and Europe, was Accolade’s CEO from the company’s inception until late 2012, when he abruptly left the company. Accolade recently signed a packaging and production accord with Treasury Wine Estates that will see TWE package U.S. brands Geyser Peak, Atlas Peak and XYZin at its Napa bottling facility, and production will take place at TWE’s Asti Winery near Cloverdale, California.

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