C&C Group has confirmed two separate personnel changes. Former Bibendum CEO Michael Saunders is set to leave the business, while Bibendum will welcome Valeria Rodriguez as head of fine wine.

Saunders, who was Bibendum CEO until 2021, is currently head of agency partnerships at C&C Group. According to The Drinks Business, he will leave in January.

A spokesperson for C&C confirmed to Drinks Retailing that there are no plans to recruit a new head of agency partnerships.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez will be managing relationships with Bibendum’s fine wine customers and driving new business strategy, as well as supporting the development and evolution of the fine wine range alongside the buying team.

The spokesperson said the company has “historically always had a head of fine wine but given our focus on premium wine we’ve revamped the role and hired Valeria”.

Rodriguez has previously worked at Bibendum – in 2007 she joined the prestige accounts, before leaving in 2011 to progress her career in other wine businesses.

“The opportunity to bring what I learnt while I was at Bibendum over 10 years ago, and combine that with my most recent experience is really exciting,” she said. “Bibendum is the blueprint for a successful premium wine distributor in the UK, the team is amazing, and it feels like home. I can’t wait to build on Bibendum’s incredible legacy of selling some of the world’s finest wines to the UK on trade, as well as working with premium customers to drive their fine wine offering.”  

C&C Group acquired Bibendum in 2018, following the collapse of Conviviality.