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Foster's team takes shape

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the acquisition of Southcorp by Foster's now complete, the former managing director of Beringer Blass Wine Estates (BBWE), John Philips, has been given the task of leading the UK and European teams of the new expanded company, FGL Wine Estates.

Philips will lead a head-office team that is otherwise dominated by former Southcorp staff in the senior sales and marketing positions, with each of Philips' direct subordinates - commercial director UK, Neil Barker; commercial director continental Europe, Peter Jackson; and marketing director, James Lousada - being ex-Southcorp.

Other key appointments, however, are largely from within BBWE/Foster's: Stuart Pickles will stay on as finance director; Nanda Rowe will continue as IT director; Ariane Braun, currently HR director at Foster's Group Europe, will take up the same position at FGL Wine Estates; and Rob Hollis will be the new group's operations & supply chain director.

And there is no space for such high-profile members of the Southcorp team as UK president Jeffrey Wilkinson - who is set to return to his native Australia once the two companies' integration is complete - and UK vice president, sales Ian Tottman. Former BBWE UK commercial director Garreth Anderson is also set to leave the company at the end of this month, but, at the time of going to press, Oliver Horn, head of marketing at BBWE, was in the process of discussing the possibility of staying within the group.

The complete head-office team, which will be based in Twickenham, is due to be confirmed by 1 September. The full integration of the two companies is expected to take a little longer, however, with the Australian business taking the longest. According to a FGL spokesman, the two companies' Australian sales & marketing operations will be running in tandem until Christmas, while the winemaking and winegrowing operations could take even longer to integrate.