Gavin Hewitt will step down as chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association at the end of 2013, to be replaced by British diplomat David Frost.
Hewitt has been at the SWA since October 2003 and has seen Scotch grow into one of Britain’s greatest success stories, with exports adding £135 to British coffers every second.
He said: “The industry has expanded to meet surging global demand, with exports almost doubling in the last ten years and unprecedented levels of new investment.
“Scotch whisky is vital to the UK and Scottish economies. David Frost’s experience of working closely on economic affairs in the UK and overseas fits him well for the role of SWA chief executive.”
Frost oversees UK trade policy at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and works closely with the European Commission and other trade bodies.
He was previously Britain’s ambassador to Denmark and held various roles in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Frost said: “My career to date working in economic, trade, and EU affairs in the UK and overseas has given me a wealth of experience of global commercial issues which will stand me in good stead in my new role in the Scotch Whisky industry.
“I am excited about taking up this new position at the helm of this highly-respected trade body which provides an invaluable service to the industry. I am also very much looking forward to living and working in Edinburgh.”