William Grant & Sons appoints new UK Commercial Director


William Grant & Sons UK has appointed Joanna Austin to the role of Commercial Director UK & Ireland as part of a number of internal promotions, which includes Matt Billinghurst moving to take on the role of Managing Director Nordics, Northern Europe & Southern Europe, reporting to Rita Greenwood, Regional President, Europe, Middle East & Africa.

Previously, Joanna held the position of Head of Retail and Ecommerce and was instrumental in driving strong value growth across the WG&S Premium spirits portfolio in 2019 and reinforcing the business goal of being the UK’s ‘premium partner of choice’ for customers in every channel. In her pivotal new role, Joanna will be leading the commercial agenda across the UK and Ireland, shaping the future of the fifth-generation family business with all its customer partners.

Joanna joined William Grant & Sons UK over 10 years ago from Reckitt Benckiser Group and has held key commercial leadership roles across all channels, including leading the customer marketing and category management teams. She was instrumental in the recent launch of the ‘We Create’ innovation portfolio, which includes Verano, Aerstone and Atopia, into key partners and driving focus on partnership growth.

Neil Barker, Managing Director, William Grant & Sons UK & Ireland, said, “We pride ourselves on nurturing the best talent and building great career experiences for all of our people. I’m delighted that the opportunity for Joanna to continue her own career journey has come about as a result of our focus on internal progression and development. Joanna has a track record of building strong and lasting partnerships, which will be vital as we seek to build ever stronger customer relationships and expand our presence in line with our Vision to create the UK’s best premium spirits experiences.”

Joanna Austin, added, “I’m so excited to lead our commercial agenda across the UK and Ireland, driving our dynamic business forward in partnership with our customers. I’m also personally passionate about developing our business leaders of tomorrow, entrusting them with the future management and direction of our five-generation family business, something which is extremely special and unique in today’s business world.”

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