Job title: CEO
Company name: Laithwaites Wine
Sales: c£350m pa (as part of the Direct Wines Group)
HQ location: Theale, near Reading
Number of employees: about 900 at peak

What's it like to work for your company? Very energetic. Tony Laithwaite bombards us with new ideas every day, which is great! Tony and Barbara Laithwaite's enthusiasm keeps us all inspired.

Why is it a good employer? Tony and Barbara have created a really strong culture, encouraging innovative, entrepreneurial people to thrive. 

What's the best thing about working there? Wine is a terrific product to work with and so are the people involved.

Does the company offer any unusual benefits? We give our employees the chance to spend a weekend visiting the vineyards and our chateau in France. It helps everyone understand Tony's passion for wine and where the business came from.

How does the company differ from its rivals? We look after our winemakers and our customers really well. And we've done that for more than 40 years!  

Is there a definable company culture? Young, brave, determined and energetic.

If the company were a car what would it be and why? A Jaguar convertible sports car: Tony drives one!

What's the training like and what qualifications can I earn? A good mixture of in-house and WSET qualifications. We make sure our employees have the opportunity to grow and develop.

Has the company won any awards or been recognised in the past few years as an employer? Yes. We have won call centre of the year, direct marketer of year and wine retailer of the year several times.

What's your proudest achievement of the past 12 months? Beating last year's profit by £8m.

What is the most important or challenging HR issue you are dealing with at the moment, or are readying yourself to deal with? Making sure people understand and support all the changes we are making to the business. As we expand overseas, it's important that communication between all departments remains strong and that we work together.

Are you looking for any people right now and, if so, where? We are always recruiting new people to our customer services team in Gloucester, in particular.

What tips would you offer jobseekers? Write to us at our customer services address with a full CV and covering letter. For the customer services team, we look for people who have a passion for customer care. You don't need to know about wine as we offer all our employees training in that. What is important is that you have energy and enthusiasm.

Are you, or is the company, working on anything exciting right now that you can tell us about? We have launched in Hong Kong and Poland in the past year and are now the number one direct-to-consumer wine retailer in the US.