‘Watch out World!’ Saunders is back at Bibendum

Drinks: Drinks
Location: UK
Other: Business, People

Michael Saunders is back in charge of Bibendum, with new owners C&C Group announcing that he has returned to the company as chief wxecutive.

Saunders spent almost 25 years with the business before selling to Conviviality in 2016 for £60m. His return is sure to be welcomed by Bibendum’s producers and customers alike, following a traumatic few months for the company that culminated in the dramatic collapse of Conviviality in March.

Over the last two years, Saunders had been employed by Conviviality in a more advisory role, but was known to have grown increasingly concerned by some of the decisions taken in the running of the company.

Given that Bibendum has always been successful – it was an innocent victim, rather than a cause of Conviviality’s downfall – Saunders told Imbibe that he sees no need for wholesale structural or strategic changes. His plans, instead, are to help the company rediscover its mojo.

‘We want to get it humming again,’ he said. ‘There’s a great team and a great range of products here, and we have got very good support from C&C, the mother ship. Watch out world!’

James Kowszun is also returning as COO – a role he held for nine years.

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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