Acting Foster’s CEO announced as O’Hoy departs

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 21st July 2008

The Board of Foster’s Group Limited (Foster’s) has announced that Chief Executive Officer, Trevor O’Hoy, will step down from his role today.Ian Johnston, currently a non-executive Director of the Company, has agreed to assume the role of Acting Chief Executive Officer, pending the appointment of a permanent successor to Mr O’Hoy.

The Board is hoping Mr Johnston will energise the team to drive day-to-day business performance across product categories and global businesses. He will also assist Chairman, David Crawford in overseeing the Wine Review – announced on 10 June.

Chairman, Mr David Crawford was complementary of the work done by Mr O’Hoy during what has proven to be a turbulent time for the company. “Trevor has led Foster’s through a period of significant structural and business change since his appointment as CEO in 2004, including the acquisition of Southcorp, the rationalisation of the Company’s manufacturing and logistics footprint and the divestment of non-core assets,” he said. “We again thank Trevor for his significant contribution throughout his 33 years with Foster’s and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Ian Johnston, who has been a director since September 2007, is a former Managing Director, Global Confectionery for Cadbury Schweppes plc and has extensive experience in the international beverage industry.

The Company continues to expect that the previously announced Wine Review and search for a new CEO will be concluded during the first half of fiscal 2009.

Mr O’Hoy stepped down in the wake of a profit downgrade and the announcement that the integration of Southcorp did not go as well as planned. Analysts are now of the belief that the review into wine operations will lead to a sale of Foster’s wine business or a separate listing of their wine and beer operations.