He joins at the end of February, replacing Dan Snook, who is leaving to become managing director for a Bordeaux negociant.
Howard-Sneyd will be responsible for Direct Wines’ portfolio of wines across its various international businesses, including its largest UK brand, Laithwaites Wine.
Direct Wines chief executive Simon McMurtrie said: “I am delighted that Justin is joining our global executive team. He brings with him many great qualities, not least his outstanding knowledge of and vision for the world of wine. His appointment will strengthen and build on the success of the existing team.”
Howard-Sneyd said: “I have always admired Tony [Laithwaite], his enthusiasm for finding exciting wines, and the great relationship that he has with his customers. He has a fantastic team at Direct Wines, and they have some exciting ambitions to grow the business around the world, as well as push the boundaries in the UK, and I am very much looking forward to exploring the opportunities ahead.”
McMurtrie praised Snook for his “hard work and commitment during the last 18 months”.