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TWE announces CEO Michael Clarke’s retirement

Published:  21 October, 2019

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has announced CEO and MD Michael Clarke is to retire in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

The company’s COO Tim Ford will be appointed to the role of CEO following Clarke’s departure in one year’s time, the board said.

Following an “extensive transition period” and upon his retirement, Clarke has agreed to act in the capacity of advisor to TWE for up to an additional one-year period, to provide strategic support across key initiatives including potential merger and acquisition opportunities, the business said.

Thanking Clarke for his “tremendous character and exceptional contribution to our company, and for his ongoing support during the transition period”, chairman Paul Rayner said:

“It is without question the extraordinary transformation and outstanding financial returns that TWE has achieved, have been driven by Michael’s leadership over the past five and a half years.

“The structural changes and initiatives delivered by Michael and his team have established TWE as a significantly stronger business than when he first joined the company, and one that is very well placed to continue delivering sustainable, margin accretive growth well into the future.”

Ford takes on his new position having worked alongside Clarke, and in a diverse range of executive leadership roles at TWE, for the past eight years.

As COO, he has been running the operation of all TWE regions since January 2019, and prior to that as deputy COO ran the Asia, Europe and ANZ regions.

“Tim’s depth and breadth of experience within our business is well proven. I am confident he is a strong leader to take TWE into its next exciting phase. We have an excellent executive leadership team in place and the company’s five-year strategic plans demonstrate that the best years are still to come,” said Rayner.

In August, TWE reported a 16% leap in profits over the last year, driven by the group’s focus on premiumisation.

Net profits hit AU$419.5m for the year ending 30 June 2019 on sales of AU$2.83bn, with sales up 12.4% on a constant currency basis.