The beverages business Lion has announced the resignation of its CEO Stuart Irvine. He was CEO for eight years.
After the company sold its Lion Dairy & Drinks business to Bega Cheese for $ 560 million last year, Irvine said the time was right to step down.
Lion said his departure comes after successfully executing his transformation program that dumped LD&D, made significant technological investments, and diversified into craft beer and spirits.
Lion chairman Rod Eddington said Irvine led the company through a period of “unprecedented change” in the industry.
“During Stuart’s tenure, Lion has become a refocused adult beverage business, expanding its presence in craft beer and spirits both in Australia and overseas. Lion’s international business is already showing encouraging growth, with recent results from the US being particularly positive given the challenges posed by COVID-19, “said Eddington.
“Stuart’s commitment to sustainable business led Lion to become Australasia’s first major climate neutral brewer, identifying and closing its gender pay gap and promoting gender diversity by setting ambitious gender targets for all businesses and developing concrete strategies to achieve them.”
Stuart Irvine said, “After eight years, now is the time for me to hand over the baton to a new leader. I am proud of the lion I will leave behind – a focused business well positioned for growth both domestically and internationally. It is a consumer-centric company with the foundation of new data and technology skills and goals at the center of its decisions.
“I feel very privileged to be part of Lion’s history and to have the opportunity to lead such a dedicated and passionate team of people. I am determined to prepare Lion for this next chapter by ensuring a smooth transition and working with my leadership team to implement our growth plans for 2021. “
The Lion Board has launched a global executive search to identify a successor. Another announcement of a new CEO appointment will be made in due course.
Irvine will continue to run the business until his replacement is found.