The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA)’s chief executive David Frost is leaving to take up a new FCO role, reporting to Boris Johnson.

Frost is set to leave the SWA on 4 November to join the FCO as foreign affairs special advisor to Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary. SWA deputy chief executive, Julie Hesketh-Laird, will be acting ceo for the interim period before a new ceo is appointed.

Frost replaced Gavin Hewitt as SWA chief executive in January 2014, moving into the role from his career as a diplomat. He has held various senior roles in the FCO, including British Ambassador to Denmark.

Frost said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as chief executive and I want to thank the SWA members and my team for their support. Scotch whisky is a wonderful industry to represent, vital to Scotland and to Britain, operating on a global scale, and held in affection by so many around the world. I leave the Association and the industry well-placed to continue to succeed in a competitive market-place during a time of change, including Brexit.”

SWA chair, Pierre Pringuet, vie-president of Pernod Ricard, said: “David has successfully modernised Association during a challenging time for the industry both economically and politically. We have very much valued his leadership and I am confident he leaves the SWA in a good position to face the future.”