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MD Ed Baker departs Kingsland Drinks

Greater Manchester-based wine and spirits creation, co-packing and filling firm Kingsland Drinks Group has announced the departure of managing director Ed Baker.

Kingsland Drinks
Ed Baker joined Kingsland Drinks in 2013

Baker is leaving the full-service drinks company after more than a decade to pursue a new leadership role outside of the drinks sector.

He joined Kingsland Drinks in 2013 as the finance director and became the managing director (MD) in 2019.

While serving as MD at Kingsland, Baker oversaw significant investment in the company’s infrastructure and capabilities, solidifying its position as a long-term full-service drink industry partner.

The company also increased its focus on spirits and no- and low-alcohol products, and expanded its capacity to pack wines and spirits in new formats, including bag in a box.

Furthermore, the company reinstated its on-site winery and added a new laboratory to enhance its capabilities for new product development.

In 2021, Ed played a key role in transitioning the company into an employee-owned model, giving its members a say in how it is run.
“The lifeblood and success of the drinks industry overall has been a personal crusade. It has been my pleasure to lead Kingsland Drinks and its members while advocating for my peers alongside the WSTA. I’m leaving behind a talented, capable and energetic team positioned to win in the years ahead,” said Baker.

“What I’m most proud of is the heart of the company; our site in Irlam, Greater Manchester, is home to the most diverse and full-service offering in the drinks industry, with a ‘can do’ team that really is best in class.

Although I am leaving the drinks industry for a new chapter in my career, I am confident that investment in our team, business model and strategic direction in recent years has created a strong and competitive business.”

Andy Sagar, chairman of Kingsland Drinks Group, said: “Ed has been an integral part of our company since the day he joined as Finance Director. We’ll miss him greatly, but he leaves a strong business with a sustainable investment in people and capabilities that will continue to drive our business forward.

While it’s sad to see such a well-respected figure exit the industry, I am confident we have a strong leadership team and immense capability across the entire business, aligned with excellent relationships with all our stakeholders. Our offering is well developed, and we are prepared and ready for our next steps and an exciting future ahead for Kingsland.”

Kingsland Drinks is currently recruiting Baker’s successor, who will oversee the entire business.

Baker’s departure follows a series of high-profile recruits in recent years, including Andy Henderson, the operations director; Mark Riley, the commercial director; and Simon Shelbourn, the chief financial officer.

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