Rowan Gormley

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Rowan Gormley
Born (1962-06-08) 8 June 1962 (age 54)
Boksburg, South Africa
Occupation Founder of Naked Wines
Website Rowan at

Rowan Gormley (born 8 June 1962) is a South African born entrepreneur. His latest venture is Naked Wines which launched in December 2008.[1]

Early life[edit]

Gormley studied at Selborne College East London and the University of Cape Town. He trained as an accountant with Arthur Andersen in South Africa before moving to the UK in 1987 to work in venture capital for Electra Capital Partners.[2]

Life at Virgin[edit]

Gormley was in private equity for 7 years before going to work for Richard Branson in 1994. Branson brought him to Virgin to identify new business opportunities.[3]

When he spotted financial services as a potential area for Virgin to explore, Branson asked Gormley to run it, and Virgin Direct (now Virgin Money) was born in 1995 with Gormley as CEO.

Whilst at Virgin Direct, Gormley was also behind the launch of The One Account, now a part of Royal Bank of Scotland.

Since Virgin Direct, he has launched 3 new start-ups. When he left Virgin Money he set up Orgasmic Wines with the help of his business partner Laura Knight and his brother Clinton Gormley. The firm became Virgin Wines in 2000 when Richard Branson bought into the business.[4]

Laithwaites subsequently bought Virgin Wines and Gormley left his CEO role in June 2008, when he was fired.[5]

Naked Wines[edit]

Gormley set up Naked Wines in December 2008 with 8 of the old Virgin Wines team. On 10 April 2015 Naked wines was acquired by Majestic Wine and Gormley was appointed CEO of the enlarged group.[6]


Web based at these regional sites: Naked Page] Blog]

See also[edit]

Virgin Money, The One Account, Virgin Wines, Naked Wines


  1. ^ Waller, Martin (29 November 2008). "It is real business, with sales, products and profits, but done in the best possible taste". Times Online. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  2. ^ Thackray, Rachelle (15 September 1999). "My Biggest Mistake: Oh Dell, why did I listen to them?". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  3. ^ Branson, Richard (1998). Losing My Virginity. Virgin Publishing. ISBN 1-85227-684-3. 
  4. ^ "EDP Power 100, 2007". EDP. 19 June 2007. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  5. ^ "Virgin Wines founder "removed from post"". Harpers. 4 July 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  6. ^ "Naked Wines founder appointed as CEO of enlarged Majestic". Majestic Wine. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-10.