Thompson has held the position of Distell's head of global marketing for Amarula and the company's other liqueur brands since 2010. Under her leadership, Amarula has been consistently ranked as one of the world's fastest-growing liqueurs by international drinks research analysts, WOSA said.
She was previously Distell's group general marketing manager for brandies and cognac, including Bisquit. She also worked for several years marketing the company's sparkling wines and was responsible for the launch of the luxury Pongracz Desiderius Cap Classique. Before joining Distell in 2001, she was responsible for the UCT Graduate School of Business marketing and public relations.
Birch will remain until the end of the year to ensure a smooth handover, before moving into the private sector, after 13 years as the WOSA boss.WOSA chairman Johann Krige said: "She is a highly respected, results-orientated, marketing professional. Her seasoned exposure to traditional and developing markets and her conversancy with the alcohol category inspire great confidence. We look forward to her leadership in taking South African wine to the next exciting phase of its development in the international arena."