Beverage 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 it was the right time to step down.
Lion said his departure comes after the successful delivery of its transformation program, which saw the offloading of LD&D, significant technological investment and diversification into craft beer and spirits.
Lion chair Rod Eddington said Irvine had led the business through a time of “unprecedented change” in the sector.
“During Stuart’s tenure, Lion has become a re-focused adult beverages business and expanded its footprint in craft beer and spirits in both Australia and overseas. Lion’s international business is already delivering encouraging growth with recent results from the United States especially positive given the challenges of COVID-19,” Eddington said.
“Stuart’s commitment to sustainable business saw Lion become Australasia’s first large scale carbon neutral brewer, identify and close its gender pay gap and drive gender diversity by setting ambitious all-of-company gender targets and putting in place concrete strategies to achieve them.”
Stuart Irvine said: “After eight years, now is the right time for me to hand the baton to a new leader. I’m proud of the Lion I will leave behind – a focused business well placed for growth at home and abroad. It is a business focused on the consumer, with the foundation of new data and technology capability and purpose at the heart of its decision-making.
“I feel very privileged to be a part of Lion’s story and have the opportunity to lead such a dedicated and passionate team of people. I am committed to setting Lion up for this next chapter by ensuring a smooth transition and working with my leadership team to deliver our growth plans for 2021.”
The Lion Board has commenced a global executive search to identify a successor and a further announcement will be made on a new CEO appointment in due course.
Irvine will continue to lead the business until his replacement is found.