Diana Hunter was "a force for good", says senior industry figure

WSTA chairman Dan Jago expressed his sadness at the news that Diana Hunter has stepped down as Conviviality chief executive following a tumultuous week.

Hunter fell on her sword after a series of financial calamities including a missed £30 million HMRC bill, a profit warning and a plummeting share price.

Jago, chief executive at Berry Bros, said: “Very sad to see Diana Hunter stepping down from Conviviality. She was huge force for good and for change at the WSTA. I wish her luck.”

Hunter oversaw an impressive period of growth at Conviviality as the Bargain Booze owner swallowed up Matthew Clark and Bibendum and grew turnover to £1.6 billion in 2017.

But shares fell below the price of the initial float during a chaotic week of revelations, leaving several investors in the red, and she was forced to step down.

The group said in a statement: “Diana Hunter, chief executive officer of the Company, is stepping down from the board of the company with immediate effect. Ms Hunter will remain with the company for a period of time in order to provide transition support.

“David Adams, non-executive chairman of Conviviality, is today stepping into the role of executive chairman until further notice.”

Conviviality is now seeking to raise around £150 million to pay its bills, plug any gaps in its finances and convince credit insurers that it can be trusted to pay suppliers.

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