Treasury Wine CEO steps down after Board review

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd September 2013

Treasury Wine Estates Limited (TWE) announced today that the Company’s CEO, David Drearie, will leave the business with immediate effect.

The announcement comes after the TWE Board undertook a review, following the write-down of excess US inventory in July 2013. At the time of the write-down, TWE said it was working with its major US distribution partners to address the excess, aged and deteriorating inventory. The Company was set to destroy old and aged commercial stock, at an expected cost of up to $35 million.

Mr Drearie was appointed CEO immediately prior to TWE’s demerger from Fosters Group Ltd in May 2011, and will initiatlly be replaced by Warwick Every-Burns, a non-Executive member of the Baord. Mr Every-Burns will assume the role of CEO on an interim basis while the search for a successor to Mr Drearie takes place.

“Over the last two years David has played a critical role in guiding TWE through its demerger and establishing the Company as a standalone business,” said Paul Rayner, TWE’s Chairman. “He has also successfully built the profile of TWE’s iconic wine brands internationally,” he said.

TWE said the Board’s review concluded that it was the right time to look for a new CEO.

“In particular, having established a solid platform since the demerger, the Board believes TWE needs a leader with a stronger operational focus to deliver the Company’s growth ambitions,” Mr Rayner said.

“The Board thanks David for his many contributions to the business, and wishes him the very best in his future endeavours. I also look forward to working closely with Warwick and the executive management team during this transition phase as TWE looks to build upon the foundations laid since demerger,” Mr Rayner said.

Treasury Wine standalone success

Despite the difficulties with excess stock in the US, TWE has seen great success as a standalone business after the demerger with Fosters Group Ltd. In the 2013 financial year, the Company’s statutory net profit after tax (including material items) was $42.3 million, and it posted a collective growth of 17 per cent in three out of four of its markets (EMEA, Asia and ANZ).

Australian Food News reported in August 2011 that the Company had announced $64.4 million profit in its first full year since the demerger.

Treasury Wine Estates CEO steps down