President Asia Pacific and Global Travel at Diageo, Sam Fischer will return to Sydney in July to commence as CEO of Lion Group where he will run alongside David Smith – also ex-Diageo – who commenced in the role of Managing Director in late January.
Staff at Lion were advised of the appointment at a Town Hall meeting this morning and outgoing CEO Stuart Irvine will continue to steer the ship until Mr Fischer joins the business.
Mr Fischer joins Lion from Diageo, where he is President Asia Pacific and Global Travel, and a member of the Global Diageo Executive Committee. Prior to Diageo, he spent 15 years with Colgate-Palmolive starting in Australia and moving on to hold senior commercial roles working across several markets in Europe and Asia. He is also currently a Non-Executive Director with the Burberry Group.
Lion Chairman Sir Rod Eddington said: “On behalf of Kirin and the Lion Board I am thrilled to welcome Sam home to Australia and to Lion. Sam brings 30 years of global leadership experience, deep expertise in alcohol beverages and FMCG businesses and a strong track record in driving business growth.
“Sam joins Lion at a pivotal time, as our industry continues to navigate the impacts of the pandemic and Lion delivers a new mid-term plan to return to sustainable growth. His drive for performance and proven ability to lead with purpose and conviction will be invaluable as Lion enters this next chapter.”
In announcing his appointment, Mr Fischer said: “It’s a privilege to be joining Lion – a company with a proud 180-year history in Australia and New Zealand, incredible stable of locally loved brands and a growing craft beer business in the United States.
“I’m looking forward to connecting with Lion’s customers and partners across our markets and working with Lion’s people on this next chapter.”
Mr Irvine has held the position of CEO for nine years.
“I’d like to thank Stuart again for his continued leadership and his commitment to ensuring a smooth mid-year transition,” added Eddington.