Victoria’s oldest family-owned winery, Tahbilk, has announced the appointment of Ross Sudano as Chief Executive Officer, taking effect in June 2022.

Tahbilk is operated by the Purbrick family, with Alister Purbrick, the incumbent CEO and fourth generation of the family, due to retire this winter.

Purbrick welcomed his successor, saying: “After 43  years running my family businesses, Tahbilk and the Tahbilk Group, it’s time for me to pass the baton on.”

“After an exhaustive recruitment process, overseen by a family and independent member panel, we welcome Ross and are certain that his extensive and proven business acumen and leadership skills will build on the successes achieved over 162 years of operation.”

Sudano joins with a strong track record across several industries, having previously served as CEO at Little World Beverages. He also oversaw the launch of Anaconda Adventure Stores as CEO, and has served in executive roles at BP Australia and Foodland Associated Limited.

Most recently, Sudano worked as CEO and Managing Director of The Reject Shop Limited, overseeing a strategic realignment and cost-cutting drive that generated $24m per annum in savings.

Purbrick explained how Sudano will fit into the company’s existing structure: “Ross will report to our family board, ensuring that the Purbrick family vision, mission and values underpin our Group culture whilst driving a new and exciting chapter for our family business.  We wish him every success.”

Alister Purbrick, a former President of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, leaves a pristine legacy, having served on several industry boards, including chairing the inaugural Australia’s First Families of Wine group – a committee of Australia’s multi-generational wine families.

Sudano will be based at Tahbilk’s corporate offices in Melbourne, though will make regular visits to the winery at Nagambie Lakes, Victoria.

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