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Long-serving director to step down at SWA

Evans to leave as whisky body puts focus on London

Campbell EvansOne of the long-serving members of the Scotch whisky industry is to step down later this year as the industry body re-focuses its activities.

Campbell Evans, who joined the Scotch Whisky Association in 1991 as media relations manager, will leave his role as international affairs director which he has undertaken for the past year.

It has also emerged that European affairs director Nick Soper left the SWA on 17 November.

The organisation will now hire a global affairs director who will be based permanently in London and will head up the association’s new London office.

These moves will be seen as a clear indication of the shift in control of the SWA towards London and towards lobbying ministers in London on key issues that affect the industry, such as excise duties, which are not within the remit of the Holyrood parliament.

The SWA intends to sell its Atholl Crescent office in Edinburgh and move to modern premises in the city.

Chief executive David Frost said: “We believe that a permanent London presence will enhance our ability to engage effectively and build relationships both with the UK government and with other governments and bodies represented there.”

The global affairs director will manage a team based in London and in Edinburgh. It will be the latest in a number of appointments at the SWA.

Last month Pierre Pringuet, chief executive and vice chairman of Pernod Ricard, owner of the Chivas Brothers, stepped up from vice chairman to become chairman of the SWA. Peter Gordon, director at William Grant & Sons, is the new vice chairman.

Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, and Richard Burn, the company’s global policy and public affairs director, joined the SWA council.

Julie Hesketh-Laird has been appointed as deputy chief executive. Ms Hesketh-Laird joined the SWA in 2005 as director of operational & technical affairs and she will continue in this role alongside her new position.


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