Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has confirmed its Chief Operating Officer, Tim Ford has stepped into the role of Chief Executive Officer, with the outgoing Michael Clarke’s retirement brought forward.
In October last year Clarke announced his intention to retire and move back to the UK. At the time Ford was revealed as Clarke’s successor, at the end of his one-year notice. However TWE has said that the decision was made to bring Clarke’s retirement forward in order to give Ford the role for the full financial year.
Speaking about taking over in the role, Ford said: “It is a real privilege to lead our 3,400-strong team as we continue to boldly lead change in the world of wine and build the next chapter of TWE’s growth and success,” Ford said.
“We have a talented team producing some of the finest quality wines from the some of the best wine making regions in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and America. I’m proud to be part of a business that helps bring moments of joy and connection to consumers around the world.”
When Clarke’s retirement was announced, TWE Chairman, Paul Rayner, said: “I along with the board, and pleased to announce that Tim Ford, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, will be appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer effective from when Michael retires in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. This reflects the company’s strong succession planning.”
He added: “Following an extensive transition period, and upon his retirement, Michael is agreed to act in the capacity of adviser to the company for up to an additional one year period and will provide TWE with strategic support across key initiatives, which include a potential mergers and acquisition opportunities and therefore, it is important to note that TWE will continue to operate business as usual.
“Given the long transition period there is no change in our strategic direction or a five-year plans.”
When he was announced as Clarke’s replacement in October last year, Ford said: “I’m excited about the opportunity to take TWE into the next phase of our journey, and I feel very, very confident we have the team and the strategy in place to continue to drive growth going forward.
“But one important point is we all remain absolutely focused, including myself and specifically myself on driving the current year’s results. And there are also lots of side that I really appreciate the fact that this will be a lengthy transition period between Mike and myself as we continue to work closely together. And this is a genuine positive for me. And in reality, as I said, it’s business as usual.”
Ford has working in several roles for TWE since joining the winemaker nine years ago, including Director Global Logistics, Director Global Supply Chain and has been COO since January 2019.