Main image

Board of Trustees changes at WSET

Main image

Nick Hyde (pictured above) has taken over from James Simpson MW as Chairman of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Board of Trustees, while Simon McMurtrie has also joined the Board.

After fulfilling a six-year tenure as a WSET Trustee, including two years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, James Simpson MW has stepped down from his position, passing the chairmanship on to Nick Hyde.

Nick represents the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, of which he is a previous chairman, and is also Chairman of Vranken Pommery UK. He will now lead the eight wine and spirits industry leaders on the Board of Trustees who will support and guide WSET as it continues its expansion internationally and into the digital and spirits arenas following 15 consecutive years of growth.

On his departure James comments, “It has been a privilege to serve as a Trustee for WSET for the past six years. As Chairman I was particularly proud to work with the WSET team to steer international growth and secure the Trust’s future with the purchase of new additional premises in London at Baden Place. WSET continues to go from strength to strength and I have no doubt it will see further success under the new Board.”

As he steps into the role, new Chairman Nick says, “I’ve been part of a Board that has worked closely with Chief Executive Ian Harris in developing a transformational plan for the future growth of WSET that will reinforce its global leadership. Now, as Chairman, my role and that of the Board will be to ensure that the conditions are in place for the successful transition to this exciting next chapter. It will certainly be a challenge made easier by the extraordinary energy and commitment of the WSET team.”

Stepping down from his two-year position as Chairman of Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Family Board, Simon McMurtrie has now joined WSET’s Board of Trustees, representing the Vintners' Company. Simon began his association with the wine trade in 1991 as Managing Director of Mitchell Beazley, publisher of Michael Broadbent, Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson and Steven Spurrier - all WSET Honorary Presidents. From 2008 to 2015, Simon was Group Chief Executive of Laithwaite’s Wine responsible for their international expansion.

On his appointment Simon says, “I’m delighted to have been asked to become a Trustee of WSET representing the Vintners’ Company. The international expansion of Laithwaite’s Wine mirrored that of WSET and so I’m in the lucky position of having worked closely with Ian Harris and his talented team over a number of years. As WSET charts the next chapter in its history as the global leader in wine and spirits education, I look forward to providing challenge and support in my role as a Trustee.”

Nick and Simon will be working closely with WSET’s Senior Management team as well as the other WSET Trustees Troy Christensen, Rick Connor, Jonathan Driver, Susan McCraith MW, Simon Thorpe MW and Michael Turner.

WSET Chief Executive Ian Harris comments, “It is an honour to have such industry talent and experience on the Board. I look forward to working with Nick, Simon and the wider Board as we continue to lay the path for the future of WSET.”