The Wine Society’s head of buying Tim Sykes is stepping down from the top job after four-and-a-half years in charge to return to frontline buying.

The move is entirely Sykes’ decision and he is looking forward to spending his time completely on the buying front rather than managing others.

Sykes joined in March 2012, taking over from 25-year veteran Sebastian Payne MW, and will leave the role in March 2017, making it five years in the hot seat.

He said: “I am looking forward to putting my knowledge and experience purely into buying. I remain the Society’s buyer for Bordeaux and will be expanding my buying remit in due course.”

The Society will begin the search for a new head of buying later this month and hopes to have the successful candidate in place by the New Year to allow for a smooth transition. 

Chief Executive Robin McMillan said: “Tim’s contribution to The Society has been significant and has ensured that the buying department is well placed to respond to the demands of the future.  I am delighted that the department will continue to benefit from his extensive expertise.”