PLB's Darbyshire to step down

PLB’s sales director John Osborne is to take over as the agency’s managing director next year, when current managing director Peter Darbyshire steps down.

Darbyshire will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

The succession was announced after a restructure of the East Grinstead-based company which saw it split into different sectors – on-trade, wholesale, convenience, retail and a growing beer and RTD division.

It is to take place on January 1, 2014.

Darbyshire said: “When I arrived at PLB back in 2007, Robert Joseph’s description of PLB as ‘a large supplier of wine to the major multiples’ was very valid. Nowadays, PLB is a very different beast, our business model has evolved and the perception of PLB among the trade is very different. 

“I know that John, with all his experience and in-depth knowledge of PLB, as well as the great respect he has within the PLB team and among the wider trade, will do an excellent job.” 

Osborne said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead this team of talented people in such a great business. Peter led us through the transition from agency to full service provider that leaves us so well placed in the market. 

“The marketplace is continuing to change and evolve and I am excited about the opportunities that it offers us to be flexible, fleet of foot and innovative. We have a clear vision of where we want to go and how we will get there. Our team of talented and professional industry experts will be the key to evolve our business and remain a partner of choice to our key customers.” 

PLB owner Jeffrey Fredricks recently handed his executive chairmanship over to his son Simon, a former finance director of the company.

Simon Fredericks said: “PLB has come a long way in the past six years under the direction of Peter and I’m confident that we can build on that to ensure a strong and sustainable business. I am looking forward to working closely with John in my new role and to continue the success of PLB in the future.”

Darbyshire joined PLB from Thierry’s, where he was managing director for five years, in 2007. 

Under his leadership the company has acquired HWCG as well as bringing in wineries including Montes, Blason de Bourgogne, Plaimont and Laurent Miquel. 

Osborne joined PLB in 1997 straight from university and has held various roles in the business. He has been sales director on the PLB board since 2008.

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