SWA boss David Frost steps down

David frost Copy

Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) Chief Executive David Frost is leaving the industry to become a special adviser to UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Frost became CEO of the SWA in 2014 and will leave to start his new role on 4 November.

Before entering the whisky industry, he was previously a career diplomat and held various senior roles in the Foreign Office, including as British Ambassador to Denmark.

Frost said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as chief executive and I want to thank SWA members and my team for their support. Scotch Whisky is a wonderful industry to represent, vital to Scotland and to Britain, operating on a global scale, and held in affection by so many around the world.

“I leave the Association and the industry well-placed to continue to succeed in a competitive marketplace during a time of change, including Brexit.”

SWA Deputy Chief Executive Julie Hesketh-Laird has been appointed acting CEO until the position is permanently filled. She joined the SWA in 2005 and was made deputy to Frost in December 2014.

Hesketh-Laird said, “I look forward to leading the Association for this transitional period and believe we have a great team to deal with whatever challenges face us.”

SWA chair, Pierre Pringuet, vice-president of Pernod Ricard, added, “David has successfully modernised the Association during a challenging time for the industry both economically and politically. We have very much valued his leadership and I am confident he leaves the SWA in a good position to face the future.”

The SWA previously appealed against the Scottish Government’s plan to raise the minimum alcohol price in Scotland. After judges ruled in favour of minimum pricing last week, the SWA announced it would consider taking its appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

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