He announced his departure from brand owner C&C International this week, citing a lack of career opportunities after the arrival of several senior executives from Scottish & Newcastle, including former S&N boss John Dunsmore who joined last November as chief executive.
These appointments were described by one drinks analyst as a case of "too many chiefs and not enough Indians" and he struggled to see how Holberry would have fitted in. "The reason for bringing in Holberry was his strong industry contacts but the arrival of Dunsmore and co leaves him fairly redundant," he said.
Another analyst said it had been a matter of time before Dunsmore's appointment prompted Holberry's exit.
"I've always wondered how Holberry would fit in with the new regime," he said. "It's bad for C&C to lose a guy as experienced as Holberry but with the new management team it has gained the UK knowhow that Holberry was supposed to have."
Holberry, who also has a position on the C&C board, joined Magners in March last year from Coors Brewers, whose sales operations he had headed for seven years. He will leave in August. In his brief spell with C&C, Holberry has presided over the launches of Magners Light, Magners Pear, and the test launch of Magners Mid-Strength.
But the launches have failed to arrest sliding Magners' sales in the UK. It is expected to reveal a drop of 23% in sales in the year to the end of February in its full-year results in May. Magners GB has faced increased competition in bottled cider and struggled to compete on price because of the strong euro.
Holberry said: "The appointment of the new management, headed by John Dunsmore, reduces the opportunities for me to develop my career."
Dunsmore praised Holberry for his "significant contribution to Magners GB since his appointment".