Chilean wine company Santa Rita has recruited Richard Leaver as corporate commercial director to provide added focus to the UK and Ireland market.

He will be responsible for the direction, development and promotion of all wines within the group, including the Santa Rita, Carmen, Terra Andina and Dona Paula brands.

The company said taking on Leaver was part of its brand development programme for the wines within the UK and Ireland - key markets for driving value and volume sales.

"Despite the poor exchange rate for the Chilean wine industry, the group is showing signs of a positive future and I look forward to playing a part in that success," said Leaver.

He joins Santa Rita from Beam Global, where he was business sector ­controller for specialist, convenience and premium grocery channels.

He has also worked at Southcorp Wines, Unilever and was an account director for Tesco at Gillette.