Former Booking.com and Airbnb executive will lead Vivino’s global expansion and marketplace growth; founder Heini Zachariassen will stay on as board member and Chief Evangelist
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 3, 2021) — Vivino, the world’s most downloaded mobile wine app and largest online wine marketplace, has named Olivier Grémillon as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective July 26.
Heini Zachariassen, Vivino’s current CEO and founder, will pass the torch to Grémillon, an expert in growing and nurturing passionate digital communities. Grémillon previously led demonstrable growth at Booking.com (NASDAQ: BKNG), and Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB). Zachariassen will remain on Vivino’s board of directors and continue his role as Chief Evangelist for the company.
Vivino was created in 2010 by wine industry outsiders, Zachariassen and Theis Søndergaard, who wanted to take the guesswork out of choosing wine. They achieved this by building the first and most comprehensive wine library in the world. Vivino has attracted an engaged community of more than 50 million people ranging from the wine curious to the wine enthusiast. Vivino’s five-star rating system is the most widely used and recognized unbiased wine scoring system in existence. Vivino also connects its community to more than 700 merchants in 17 international markets to purchase wine. And, as of February 2021, the company raised a $155M Series D round to propel additional growth and market expansion. Vivino’s e-commerce marketplace experienced its most substantial growth during the pandemic lockdown, resulting in $265M worth of wine sold in 2020.
“This is the perfect moment to join Vivino,” said Grémillon. “With the collective power of 50 million people who share a curiosity about wine, now is the time to lead the revolutionary change taking place in wine buying habits. With ten years of data collected from nearly two billion wine label scans and hundreds of millions of unbiased reviews and ratings, no one is better placed than Vivino to bring wine drinkers of the world closer to the wines they love.”
Grémillon is a proven executive with success in driving growth on marketplace platforms and has worked with some of the world’s greatest companies to build and execute winning growth strategies. During Grémillon’s three-year tenure at Booking.com, Grémillon led the expansion of the company’s global marketplace and was responsible for driving growth in an increasingly competitive market segment of the travel and hospitality industry. Grémillon also spent six years at Airbnb, where he led the launch and expansion of the business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and managed a loyal community of travelers across the region.
“As this past year clearly shifted consumer habits to purchasing more wine online, it felt like the right time to bring in a new leader with the skills and experience to take our business to the next stage in its development and accelerate our growth from where we are today,” said Zachariassen. “Olivier is bringing years of success and experience to Vivino that will allow for even more consumers to buy wine through our marketplace with the confidence that they are getting the best possible wine for their specific taste.”
“Heini has steadfastly led Vivino for a decade, and we are very grateful for his continued leadership at the company,” said Christophe Navarre, Vivino’s board chairman and former chairman and CEO of Moët -Hennessy. “Olivier’s appointment brings a fresh perspective to the business that is grounded in community and will help propel Vivino’s presence as the go-to resource for all things wine worldwide.”
Vivino’s users have scanned over 1.6 billion wine labels, written 72 million reviews, and given 204 million ratings on 13.5 million bottles of wine. Vivino’s unique wine shopping experience leverages community data to suggest personalized wine recommendations for each user with its Match for You feature, so they always drink wine they enjoy. Vivino’s growing community of millions can purchase wines from hundreds of independent merchants in the United States and sixteen other countries.
Vivino empowers people everywhere to enjoy wine to the fullest. Vivino is the world’s largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app, powered by a community of millions. Vivino’s unique wine shopping experience uses community data to suggest personalized wine recommendations, making wine discovery and purchase fun, accessible, and effortless for wine drinkers of every level of expertise. The Vivino app is available for download on Android and Apple devices.