Cox is a 25-year industry veteran whose previous experience includes a 13-year stint as managing director of Brown-Forman’s European Wine Division and a spell as export director at Matthew Clark.
His last role was European director of New Zealand Winegrowers, which he left in July 2012 to “pursue other interests”.
He said: “I have long felt that despite our drinks trade becoming increasingly dynamic and competitive the word ‘community’ always seems to prevail.
“Those who work in the trade are mostly privileged to work with great people and great brands and they enjoy a very vibrant community. I am looking forward to helping The Benevolent to provide valuable support to those in our trade who are not so lucky, at all stages in their career, and when they find themselves in a time of need.
“I believe that the culture and ethos of the drinks industry attracts like-minded caring people and it is my intention to grow the awareness of, and connection with, the work of The Benevolent.”
Cox replaces Paul Newman, who is leaving to become chief executive of nursing care provider Greensleeves.
The Benevolent’s chairman Chris Porter said he was “delighted” to welcome Cox on board, adding: “He is a well known and respected figure within the trade and is ideally placed to provide first hand knowledge of what the UK drinks industry needs from its trade charity. Under Paul Newman’s innovative and superb leadership we have made great headway updating The Benevolent’s operations and raising its profile within the drinks industry and I believe David is ideally placed to carry on this vital work.
“David’s unparalleled connections within the trade, combined with business acumen and bold leadership style make him ideally placed to engage all branches of the trade and to keep The Benevolent right at the heart of the drinks industry.“