He will become PLB's managing director in early summer, replacing John Smith who is retiring after 24 years .
Darbyshire said his move was prompted by the need for a new challenge. "Thierry's has got as far as I can take it without radically changing the ownership . If you're going to take it to the next step it needs more fire power and you can't do that without outside funding."
Darbyshire has been with Thierry's for five years, and before that worked for Rosemount, Glenmorangie and ≠Drambuie. Talking about his new appointment, he said: "This company has all the attributes - a clear strategy, an excellent young management team and a great range of products - to capitalise on the continuing growth of the UK wine market. All in all, a very exciting opportunity: challenging and fun."
He added: "I am sad to be leaving Thierry's after five years of excitement and change. I believe the team is well-equipped to take the business forward with a clear direction and sound strategy."
Thierry's chairman Thierry Cabanne said: "Peter leaves Thierry's with our sincere thanks and best wishes for the future." His role will be filled by a management team made up of Cabanne, managing director Ged Welch and finance director Hatim Dungarwalla.