Atkinson joins Pernod Ricard from Allied Domecq UK where he has held a similar role.
He started his career at Oddbins in 1991 as a branch sales assistant in Manchester before progressing to senior buyer. In 2001 he left Oddbins to set up a joint venture between Oddbins and Sainsbury for an internet and mail order operation, before moving into Sainsbury’s main buying team in 2003 as a fine wine buyer.
Pernod Ricard said Atkinson would play a critical role in developing Pernod Ricard UK’s strategic approach to wine.
He will take responsibility for NPD, wine education and trade PR, and will work closely with winemakers in New Zealand, Spain, Argentina and California.