By James Atkinson

Coles Liquor boss Tony Leon today announced to suppliers that he will retire at the end of June.

In an email sent to key industry figures this morning, Leon congratulated Coles Liquor finance director, Andrew Charlton, who will step up to replace Leon as general manager of liquor.

Aged in his mid-thirties, Charlton has previously worked for the United Nations, the OECD and the Reserve Bank of Australia. He is an Honorary Fellow of St Paul's College at Sydney University and has a doctorate from Oxford University where he studied as a Rhodes scholar. 

Charlton joined Wesfarmers in late 2010, initially working in the Coles parent's corporate business development team, before moving across to join Coles Liquor.

Prior to that he worked as an advisor to then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

"His experience over the last 15 months as finance director sets him up well to continue with our transformation of the Coles Liquor Group," wrote Leon. 

"Many of you have met Andrew over the last year and he will be reaching out more broadly to engage with our suppliers over the next few months." 

In a related reshuffle, Leon said marketing head Cameron MacFarlane will now be working more closely with Coles' key suppliers on joint marketing initiatives, promoted through the company's suite of media properties and brought to life in stores. 

Grant Ramage will move into the role of general manager – exclusive liquor brands.  

"Grant will further develop our growing private label and exclusive brand business, utilising his extensive experience in our business and working closely with our network of supplier partners," Leon said.

Leon announced that Coles Liquor had recently appointed Tim Carroll as business category manager for spirits and RTDs, in addition to his current responsibility for the beer category. 

"I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for all your support for the Coles Liquor business over this period," Leon said.  

"I am proud of our achievements and I know that the strength in our team will set us up for success in the years to come."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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