Scottish distiller William Grant & Sons has confirmed that Stella David is to step down as chief executive and be succeeded by current chief commercial officer Simon Hunt.

The Speyside-based company said Davod, who will leave at the end of February, had decided to focus on building on her existing non-executive directorships.

She already holds positions on the board of C&J Clark Ltd and HomeServe plc.

She joined William Grant & Sons in August 2009 and has overseen growth of the company’s award-winning portfolio of brands including the acquisition of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey and Drambuie.

Hunt has been with William Grant & Sons since October 2007, initially as managing director for North America and in April 2013 he was promoted to chief commercial officer.

David will continue in an advisory capacity until the end of May.

Hunt said: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the great team at William Grant & Sons and build on the strong momentum we have been achieving with our world class, premium brands.”.

Glenn Gordon, William Grant & Sons chairman, said: “We are all very grateful for Stella’s enormous contribution to the business in recent years. In particular, she has brought an exceptional level of energy and drive to our business, while significantly enhancing the premiumness of our brands and their appeal to consumers.

“This has evidenced itself both in the company’s results and the overall progress of the business in terms of the depth of talent we are privileged to have and the amount of passion that is felt all over the company.”