Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has implemented a new ‘operating model’ by sacking a large number of its sales team but has declined to talk about what this means for its customers.

Over the last month the ASX-listed wine producer has made statements about a new business model and organisational restructure. This restructure was implemented recently with sources telling The Shout that up to 200 people from its sales team sacked. Key Account Managers and State Managers are gone as are a number of field sales representatives. The Shout understands that some members of TWE’s public relations teams have also lost their jobs.

It’s a move that brings back memories of what the previous incarnation of the company, Fosters, did around 15 years ago.

While some of those who lost their jobs have contacted The Shout to say this has happened they have not wanted to speak on the record, even anonymously, so we approached TWE for comment. TWE declined.

While not commenting on the numbers involved is no surprise, The Shout also asked TWE what this means for its customers: how will independent retailers and publicans now buy their Penfolds, 19 Crimes, Wynn’s or Squealing Pig? But TWE preferred not to answer these questions.

CEO Tim Ford did speak to investors, telling the ASX on May 25: “We continually and proactively assess our business performance, our structure and our cost base to make sure we’re in the best position to continue to deliver on our premiumisation and growth strategy. With changing consumer preferences and a tightening economic environment in most major markets, we’re taking the opportunity to make changes in our business now, so we have increased flexibility in the future to continue to grow our Premium and Luxury portfolios.”

TWE then explained it was planning changes to the Treasury Premium Brands business, saying it would be adjusting TPB’s “operating model and organisational structure to align with the future scale of the business, in order to reduce fixed costs and increase focus on priority brands”.

The statement to the ASX also talked about the priorities for TWE and its outlook for the remainder of the financial year, saying: “Penfolds, Treasury Americas and TPB – is performing in line with expectations. Penfolds, in particular, continues to deliver strong momentum in building distribution and consumer demand across a number of key global markets.”

Overall TWE said it is expecting to deliver EBITS of between $580m to $590m, representing growth of approximately 11 per cent to 13 per cent on FY22.

The Shout will continue to ask TWE what the new structure means for the trade.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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