By Andrew Starke
Independent Distillers has undergone a senior management reshuffle this month (July), following the appointment of a new CEO, Peter Murphy, earlier this year.
Murphy replaced former executive chairman Doug McKay who at first remained on the board as a non-executive director but who has now left the company.
General Manager Australia Peter Cantwell, GM – spirit brands Tony Gapes and finance director Brett Armstrong have either left or are in the process of leaving Independent Distillers.
Myles Anceschi has been appointed as the new GM but the other positions are expected to be absorbed into existing departments.
Contacted by TheShout, a spokesperson for Independent Distillers denied that the old guard had been squeezed out by new management but conceded there had been changes in the upper echelons.
Anceschi said the changes could be seen as “refreshing” the company’s management.
“We are in a tough position but it is not nearly as bad as some of our competitors would like to believe,” he said. “We have a good platform from which to launch future growth.”
He added that Independent Distillers would remain focused on its core business regardless of the challengers ahead.
The company’s RTD business has been severely affected by the RTD tax hike bill, with staff last month appealing Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard – their local member of Parliament – to visit the plant and see the damage caused to their livelihoods by the bill.
Staff claimed that should the RTD tax hike bill be passed into law, Independent Distillers will likely be forced to cut more jobs on top of the 23 workers it let go last year.
The bill will be reviewed by Parliament next month.