Collective Heads, founded by prominent publican Craig Shearer, has changed its name to Kickon Group and appointed a new chief to head the rebranded group.
The group has appointed industry heavyweight Duncan Thomson as its CEO, and has also announced the acquisition of two new Queensland venues, the Osbourne Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley and the Watermark Bar in Townsville.
“Launching as Kickon Group with Duncan at the helm is a huge milestone for the business,” Shearer said. “Duncan is an industry leader who brings a wealth of unrivalled experience. He will make a fantastic addition to our executive team that I have worked hard for many years to build, and which also includes Sam Capogreco, Jake Furst, Tom Allan and Peter Bisogni. I am beyond excited about where we can take this company together.”
Thomson said, “It’s an incredible time to join the company during this growth phase, with two new acquisitions in Queensland and the upcoming launch of The Continental in Sorrento, which adds to an already impressive portfolio.”
The relaunch of mega-venue The Continental Sorrento is a landmark project for Kickon Group and will be delivered later this year in partnership with celebrated chef and restaurateur, Scott Pickett.
This new partnership paves the way for further exciting collaborations, according to Shearer, and builds on Kickon Group’s portfolio of existing iconic venues including The Terminus in Fitzroy North, Brisbane’s historic Plough Inn, and The Collective, Palm Beach on the Gold Coast.
The latest Queensland acquisitions will be settled in the coming months, he said. The Osbourne is a large format pub which has recently received a full makeover, and the Watermark is a much loved and extremely busy food lead business which will receive a cosmetic upgrade next year.
Kickon Group will continue to acquire traditional, high-volume venues in desirable locations and adding value via structural improvements, talent development and operating efficiencies, according to Thomson.
“We are in a great position to build our profile through a difficult period for our industry and deliver on our mission to create an environment in which our people feel proud and inspired to deliver amazing experiences and memories. ”
Thomson said he will help propel this growth, spearhead development of the people and talent pipeline, and ensure that the structure and processes meet the cultural needs of the company.
“The culture of the leadership team and their values was a real drawcard for me, as it aligns strongly with my own professional views, balancing working hard with having fun, ensuring we can overcome hurdles with positivity and celebrate the wins along the way.”
The new name seeks to recognise the group’s proud history, according to Shearer, and provides an aligned launching pad for its aims to grow its portfolio of venues nationally.
Craig Shearer has owned and operated over 20 venues across Victoria, NSW and Queensland with a range of different business models including large CBD venues, smaller inner-city pubs, regional hotels, gaming and non-gaming, accommodation, nightclubs and restaurants.
Shearer formed Collective Heads – the precursor to Kickon Group – after the successful sale of his high-profile Beer DeLuxe pub chain.