Livingston James retained by Douglas Laing to appoint new Operations Director

*Please note this opportunity is now closed to further applications. Should you be interested in similar roles and wish to have an exploratory discussion, please contact Ali Shaw at [email protected].


Established in 1948, Douglas Laing is a proudly independent, family owned Scotch Whisky business in its third generation. The business was founded by Fred Douglas Laing with his son, and current Chairman, Fred Laing joining the family business in 1972. Today, Fred maintains a hands-on role in the business, working with the Board and Management team to develop and realise a global strategy that continues to take Douglas Laing and Co. from strength to strength. Fred’s daughter Cara also joined the family business in 2013 as Director of Whisky, leading the Marketing function and having wider input in cask samples and writing of tasting notes.

Douglas Laing’s headquarters are based at Douglas House in Glasgow, which also houses a large, state-of-the-art bottling hall and a luxurious events space and bar, both of which have recently received extensive investment. The business owns one distillery, Strathearn in Perthshire, which was acquired in 2019, and has plans to build a new distillery at HQ in the coming years.

Douglas Laing is known for its NPD, with popular regional malt brands including The Epicurean (Lowland), Timorous Beastie (Highland), Scallywag (Speyside), The Gauldrons (Campbeltown), Rock Island (Islands), and Big Peat (Islay).

Due to ongoing growth and a requirement for expertise around the Warehousing and Production side of the business, Douglas Laing is now looking to appoint an Operations Director. Responsible for all operations across the business, the Operations Director will be expected to develop and implement the Operations strategy to ensure business profitability and efficiency across the pillars of Operations: distilling, maturation, bottling and planning.

The incoming Operations Director will be supported by very strong Team Leads across Operations, Production and the Distillery. The main focuses of the role will include sophistication of the bottling facility, ensuring current practices are as efficient as they can be; full review and overhaul of the approach to warehousing, informed by previous experience and expertise; and updating of a range of policies across operations to better place Douglas Laing as a leader in operational excellence.

The Operations Director will be an ambitious individual with a positive, innovative and energetic approach. Candidates should have previous experience in an operational leadership role within the Whisky industry, as well as an ability to drive improvements and establish best practice, engaging their team and peers alike. They should be collaborative in nature with the ability to build relationships at all levels of the business, as well as externally as appropriate, whilst representing the Operations function effectively.

For more information on this role please review the full role profile below or contact Alistair Shaw at [email protected].

Douglas Laing – Operations Director PP


Livingston James is an equal opportunities advocate and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status or pregnancy and maternity.


Can we help?

If you are looking for leadership advisory or recruitment support, please get in touch with our team of experts.

More Articles...