The New Zealand Wine Company's chief executive of the last eight years, Rob White, is leaving the company to become chief executive of Hubbards Foods in Auckland.
Peter Scutts, who has been working on contract for NZWC for the past year on improving its wine sales in Australia, has been appointed to replace White, effective immediately.
"Peter brings a wealth of wine industry experience to the company from his time in sales and marketing roles with Montana and also from his time as chief executive of The New Zealand Wine Fund," the company told NZX.
Chairman Alton Jamieson said he is "looking forward to working with Peter as he leads our management team to implement a recovery plan that will return the company to profitability during the 2011/12 year while also setting the platform for financially sustainable growth in the years ahead."
Scutts said he welcomes the opportunity.
"The world loves our wines and I am confident that we can overcome the current issues," he said.
NZWC is suffering from the industry-wide wine glut and last month said it would breach its banking covenant requiring operating earnings to be at least 1.3 times interest costs for the year ended June 30 "by a significant margin."
Its bankers are reviewing the company's financial forecasts and business model and, if not satisfied, could demand immediate repayment.
NZWC said director Maurice McQuillan is also retiring after 17 years as a director. He won't be replaced and the company will operate with five directors.
New Zealand Wine Company shares last traded at $1.32 on June 22. The shares have been trending lower from $2.50 in September 2009.