New CEO for Lark Distilling Co

November 7, 2022
By Ioni Doherty

Satya Sharma will commence as the new CEO for Lark on 1 May 2023, following a global search to find the next person to take the award winning Australian whisky to the world.

Sharma is currently Regional Managing Director South East Asia and Australasia for William Grant & Sons where he has been employed for the past decade in a number of roles. Part of his remit has been developing strong distributor relationships, growing brand equity and accelerating the contribution of luxury to the group through the launch of The Distiller’s Library for WG&S in South East Asia.

The Distiller’s Library is a private archive of WG&S whiskies with clubs in Singapore, China, Vietnam and Bangkok that are accessible by invitation only.

Lark Chair, David Dearie, said, “The Board has been working on CEO succession, and we are delighted to secure a CEO of Satya’s calibre and experience to lead the Company through its next phase of growth and expansion.

“According to IWSR data, William Grant & Sons have more than doubled its Asia Pacific sales over the last 5 years.”

Australian born and educated, Sharma hosted Drinks Trade Magazine publisher, Ash Pini, when he was made a Keeper of the Quaich earlier in April. Then, in September, Sharma himself was made a Keeper of the Quaich. The bi-annual ceremonies honour its recipients’ commitment to Scotch Whisky the world over.

Pini said: “The appointment of Satya (Sash) Sharma as the next CEO of Lark is a watershed appointment for the Australian whisky business. Sash’s experience in bringing Scotch Whisky to the world, through his work at William Grant & Sons, will be invaluable for the next stage in taking Lark whisky to the world.  

“Apart from the significant growth of Scotch whiskies in the region, Sash was smart in making sure a full range of historical stock was available in Asia by setting up the Distillers Library, ensuring that the WG&S business was at the forefront in the region, that the brands could be enjoyed and the legacies shared.”

Current interim Managing Director, Laura McBain, will continue as acting CEO until Sharma’s commencement in May. McBain was appointed following the dramatic resignation of CEO and Managing Director, Geoff Bainbridge in February after a video emerged of him smoking a methamphetamine pipe.

Last week, Bill Lark was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Spirits Business. The distillery was also awarded Best New Marketing Campaign for Dark Lark and Master Blender Chris Thomson was highly commended in the Blender of the Year category.

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