The CEO of Naked Wines has left the company with immediate effect, as the online wine subscription service lowers sales guidance.

In a trading update today, Naked said Nick Devlin would step down as CEO, with Rowan Gormley becoming executive chairman while the company looks for a successor. Gormley, who founded Naked, returned as chairman earlier this year. 

As part of the statement, the company said trading in the US is “weaker than anticipated”, with revenue expectations reduced to -12% to -16%, from -8% to -12%. Adjusted EBIT expectations were also reduced to £2-6m (previously £8-12m).

Devlin will continue in the role of president, Naked Wines USA, through the peak trading period before leaving the group completely.

Gormley said: “It is disappointing to be warning of underperformance against a recent forecast. While trading in the UK and Australia has been in line with the board’s expectations, current trading in the US has fallen well behind, both in terms of sales and margin. Customer attrition remains at historically low levels.”

Gormley said the shortfall is largely to do with execution, “which in turn is largely due to Nick Devlin splitting his time across both the role of CEO and US president”. 

“To resolve this situation Nick has agreed to step down as CEO and I will move to executive chairman while we recruit a replacement. Nick has agreed to help with the transition and stay on as US President through peak.

“I am sad to see Nick go, but his legacy remains. Naked Wines revenue has grown 50% since he took the CEO role, and Nick leaves with a lot of the hard turnaround work completed, including testing some exciting improvements to our customer proposition, which we are testing at scale right now. He goes with our best wishes.”