By James Wells

Bob Bourne, who has been appointed to the newly created position of Independent Liquor Group (ILG) executive chairman, yesterday reassured his cooperative the business was “financially sound”.

Speaking at the opening of ILG’s $24 million Sydney warehouse, Bourne explained the reasons for the recent restructure and confirmed there will be a new direction for the business — one that provides staff with “an unfiltered opportunity of opinion” and “inclusiveness not exclusiveness”.

“Ladies and gentlemen, a number of significant issues have been addresses by the board and last week, the board voted on a new operational structure,” he said.

“The board has directed me to act as executive chairman for the ensuing two months to implement this new operational structure. It is important at the outset that I inform you that the cooperative is financially sound with significant retained earnings.

“The board has for some months required the senior staff to take particular action,” Bourne continued. “As a result of that action not materialising, the implementation is now a necessity to protect the independent retailer in this difficult market.

“As executive chairman I have already implemented some of the restructure plans, [such as the] inclusion of all field staff in fortnightly meetings with the management team. Our new trading portfolio will be inclusive of buying, programming promotions, special deals and the art studio support when the decisions are made.

“To that end, I would like to thank a number of supplier members for their calls of support and offers of assistance, as the new structure is implemented. Indeed, personally it was most gratifying to receive those calls.

“As we commence the early part of this new financial year, we will be presenting our partnership programs to the 69 companies that make up our supplier shareholder base with the view of preparing promotional activities for the ensuing year. Our directors who are present would only be too happy to welcome comments in the restructure process,” he said.

“One extremely important point I would like to make today is that our staff are all carrying identification cards not only to tell you their name but indeed their department where they work. This is important I believe for you to interact with them during the day.

“Once again, I say to you that the board and I are endeavored to the staff and we indeed have sought to earn their respect, not demand it.”
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The Shout Team

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