Lion managing director James Brindley has resigned, with David Smith, currently managing director Southern Europe for Diageo, named as his replacement.
Brindley has been with Lion for 27 years and managing director of Lion Australia for the last 12.
Brindley said: “After many years being part of this wonderful industry, I have decided it is time to call last shout and move on. I am grateful to the incredible people I have had the privilege to with work with, not only colleagues but especially our customers and community partners.”
Lion CEO Stuart Irvine said: “On behalf of the entire Lion business, I’d like to thank James for his outstanding leadership and commitment to Lion’s people, customers and communities. Over his 27-year career with Lion, James has made an incredible contribution to both our business and the wider industry.
“James has delivered ten years of above-target performance for Lion Australia, led the acquisitions of Boag’s and Little Creatures, Lion’s share in Four Pillars and most recently, the proposed acquisition of Fermentum Group.
“As always but over the past 18-months in particular, James has demonstrated true partnership through the most challenging period our industry has seen. I know that our customers will join me in thanking James for his support during this time.”
Brindley’s replacement is David Smith, currently the managing director of Southern Europe for Diageo. Prior to that Smith was MD Australasia for the business.
Irvine said Smith was a respected industry leader and already a familiar face to many of Lion’s Australian partners.
“He is committed to growing businesses through patient investment, enduring partnerships and motivating his teams to deliver outstanding outcomes for customers, we look forward to welcoming him back home to Australia and to Lion in January,” Irvine said.
Smith said he was looking forward to returning to Australia and working with the Lion team.
“I am delighted to be joining Lion, a business I have long admired for its leading brands, great culture and fantastic team. I look forward to working with the team to create growth for the business and our customers”.
Anubha Sahasrabuddhe will also be joining Lion’s Group Leadership Team as CMO, after joining Lion in January 2021 as marketing, consumer, and brand director. In her new role, Sahasrabuddhe will be responsible for marketing across Australia and New Zealand.
Sahasrabuddhe said: “After a fast start at Lion, I’m excited by the motivation and support across the business to step-change our consumer focus. I look forward to bringing a consumer perspective to the leadership table and continuing to drive our brand marketing into new territory.”
Prior to Lion, Sahasrabuddhe was global vice president of marketing for Mars.
Irvine said: “This is a wonderful endorsement of Anubha’s contribution since joining us at the beginning of the year and a clear demonstration of our commitment to elevate the needs of the consumer across our business.”