Wine bosses at Cloudy Bay Vineyards and Yealands Wine Group step down

Former Cloudy Bay Vineyards estate director Ian Morden has left the Marlborough wine label, owned by Louis Vuitton Moet ...
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Former Cloudy Bay Vineyards estate director Ian Morden has left the Marlborough wine label, owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.

Two high-level executives have stood down from their respective roles within the Marlborough wine industry.

Cloudy Bay Vineyards estate director Ian Morden left last week after seven years at the label, which is owned by luxury goods company Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.

He was unable to be reached for comment.

Jason Judkins, chief executive of the sixth largest wine exporter in New Zealand, Yealands Wine Group, also announced he was stepping down.

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Judkins had been at the helm of the company for the past nine years but informed staff of his decision to leave this month, however he was not expected to exit the position for at least six months.

Founder Peter Yealands said he would be sorely missed.

During his tenure, which started in 2007, Judkins had been influential in establishing a strong company culture, Yealands said.

"We'll struggle to find someone as good as he was, but we will given time.

"He's looking forward to a bit of a holiday and spending more time with his family."

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Judkins was chief executive when Yealands Wine Group was bought by Marlborough Lines, which acquired an 80 per cent shareholding last year.

The deal, which saw the lines company pay $89 million, reduced the shareholding of Yealands from 75 per cent to 15 per cent, with Judkins holding the remaining 5 per cent.

Judkins could not be reached for comment, but his departure would be one of the items on the agenda at the next board meeting, which Yealands said would take place in the middle of August.

Marlborough Lines, which was owned by the Marlborough Electric Power Board Trust, paid out a $50 dividend to each of its 24,500 customers in 2014.

At the time of the Yealands purchase, Marlborough Lines managing director Ken Forrest said the decision was a good investment which would provide increased dividends.

 - The Marlborough Express

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