drinks industry

Drinks industry shake-up: executive reshuffles across the business

October 23, 2019
By Alana House

It’s been a year for huge change in the Australian drinks industry as a dramatic changing of the guard takes place.

Across the board, new CEOs and MDs have been appointed as the leadership of the business gets a complete overhaul.

This week, Treasury Wine Estates shocked the market with the announcement that Michael Clarke intends to retire from the role of Managing Director and CEO in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Treasury Wine Estates CEO Michael Clarke; drinks industry

Tim Ford, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, will be appointed to the role of CEO, effective from the retirement of Clarke.

Tim Ford, drinks industry

Tim Ford replaced COO Robert Foye earlier this year after he was dismissed for breaching internal policies.

It’s been a year of significant change at the top for TWE, as it revises its senior management, human resources and finance operations.

Angus McPherson was recently appointed as Managing Director, ANZ & Europe, as President – Americas and Global Sales, replacing Victoria Snyder; while Angus Lilley replaced Michelle Terry as Global CMO.

Asia Managing Director Peter Dixon also left the company for competitor Accolade Wines and was replaced by Tom King as North Asia MD.  

Speaking of Accolade Wines, Diageo Australia’s Commercial Director Andrew Clarke was appointed Regional Managing Director, ANZ – Accolade Wines, last month.

Andrew Clarke moves from Diageo to Accolade Wines; drinks industry

He will commence with the business early in 2020 and will also become a member of the Executive Leadership Team. 

Elsewhere in the wine category of the drinks industry, Australian Vintage Limited announced in July that Craig Garvin will replace Neil McGuigan as its CEO.

Neil Mcguigan Australian Vintage; drinks industry

Garvin will take-up the position of CEO when McGuigan formerly steps down after the company’s AGM on November 20, 2019.

McGuigan joined the business in 2004 as General Manager for Wine Supply, before being appointed as CEO, a role he has held for nine years.

Shane Richardson; drinks industry

Over at Coca-Cola Amatil, it was announced last month that Alcohol & Coffee MD Shane Richardson was leaving the business as part of major changes to its organisational structure.

The Australian-based Alcohol and Coffee portfolios joined the Australian Beverages team under the leadership of Peter West.

Supermarket switch ups

The drinks industry overhaul isn’t restricted to suppliers. Last week, Coles appointed British supermarket veteran Darren Blackhurst as Coles Liquor Chief Executive.

Coles Liquor chief executive Darren Blackhurst; drinks industry

Blackhurst’s most recent role was as Group Commercial Director of Morrisons in the UK.

Meanwhile, Coles Liquor executive Tony Parry has been promoted to General Manager Operations for Coles Express.

Over at Woolworths, Dan Murphy’s hired one of Coles’ top executives as its new managing director in May, Alex Freudmann.

Alex Freudmann; drinks industry

Freudmann has 20 years experience in the retail industry, having led customer-focused change in both the Australian and the UK markets. He had worked for Coles for the last 10 years, and for Tesco in the UK for six years before that.

And Metcash Liquor’s new CEO Chris Baddock finally moved into his new role this year, after leaving his position as Director of Pinnacle and Direct, part of Endeavour Drinks.

Add to that the $16billion sale of Carlton and United Breweries to Asahi in July and you have a very different drinks industry landscape on the horizon.

Pictured main: Bacardi Global Advocacy Director Jacob Briars and CMO John Burke shaking things up at Back to the Bar 2018. (Both are still with Bacardi.)

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