The boss of the trade body for Scotch whisky is quitting the job to become a special adviser to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
David Frost will step down from his chief executive’s role at the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) next week, the group said yesterday.
It is less than a fortnight since Mr Frost, who has been at the helm of the SWA since January 2014, said Brexit brought uncertainty but also “opportunities” for the sector – as long as the UK secures “favourable bilateral trade deals with key export markets”.
His new job will see him working alongside the referendum Leave campaign leader as a foreign affairs special adviser.
It marks a return to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where he previously held various senior roles and was British Ambassador to Denmark.
A career diplomat by profession, Mr Frost also had a spell working at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
SWA deputy chief executive Julie Hesketh-Laird, who joined SWA in 2005 as director of operational and technical affairs, will become the trade body’s acting CEO from November 4 until a permanent successor to Mr Frost is found.
Mr Frost said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as chief executive and I want to thank 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.”
Ms Hesketh-Laird said: “We are sorry to see David leaving the SWA but wish him well in his exciting future role.
“I look forward to leading the association for this transitional period and believe we have a great team to deal with whatever challenges face us.”
SWA chairman Pierre Pringuet, vice-president of Pernod Ricard, said: “David has successfully modernised the 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.”