Coles has announced that Darren Blackhurst will be stepping down from his role as Chief Executive of Coles Liquor at the end of June.
Blackhurst has been in the role since 2020 and has decided to step down to return home to the UK to his family.
In an email sent to all Coles team members, Coles CEO, Steven Cain recognised the significant impact that Blackhurst had on the liquor business.
“Darren has made an outstanding contribution to Coles Liquor since joining in January 2020,” Cain said.
“Under his leadership, we reset our liquor strategy to be a simpler, more accessible and locally relevant drinks specialist. This included renewing 426 Liquorland stores to the highly successful ‘black and white’ format, increasing sales of exclusive and local liquor brands, significantly enhancing our omnichannel presence and building capability and leadership at all levels within the business.
“Our liquor business is being transformed for customers and has delivered sales growth of more than 15 per cent in the past three years.”
After he leaves, Blackhurst said he will be focused on spending more time with family and taking time to relax, refocus and rewire.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to be part of the Coles team and a privilege to lead the liquor business for the past three and a half years. I hope the team is immensely proud of what they have delivered and achieved together,” he said.
Blackhurst will continue to lead Coles Liquor until 30 June, with a recruitment process started for his replacement.