Managing Director and CEO of Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) today announced his intention to retire from the business in the first quarter of the 2021 financial year and said the best years are still to come for the business.

Clarke was the driving force behind the transformation of TWE after it suffered with a glut of wine in China and other business concerns. His decision to leave the business has raised some concerns about the future for TWE, but both Clarke, TWE Chairman Paul Rayner and incoming CEO Tim Ford were keen to allay those fears.

Speaking about why the business will continue its strong run, Reiner said: “Tim has helped Mike to build this team and build the strategy. He’s been part of the success that we’ve had over the last five and a half years with Mike. But I think the key thing is, we have a five-year plan that demonstrates strong growth going ahead, and that the best years are still ahead.

“Tim was a key part of building that five-year plan and presenting it to the board. And the strategy will continue that’s behind and built into that five year plan. And so I’m very confident going forward that the best years are still ahead of us. All the works been done. Tim, I’m sure will keep the momentum going. Mike’s not going for another year or so. He’s given significant notice, more than he needs to, and during that transition period I’m sure that work very well together and then the momentum will continue. I’m extremely confident about that.”

Ford added: “At the the investor day we held a couple of weeks ago, I talked in a lot of detail what our future plans and strategies and initiatives are. That is the reason why I certainly believe the best years are ahead. Under Mike’s leadership, there’s been a significant amount of change. We’ve gone through a lot of change only recently as well. And there’s more to come as we outlined to you on that day. And once those changes are in place the period of in growing off those significant changes, whether it be route-to-market in the US, changes to our warehouse models in China, as we grow depth and breath, etc.

“That gives me huge confidence on the specific plans that we have why the best years are to come. Lastly I know I certainly have got the team, going forward, to lead this business the way we’re going to grow this business.”

Clarke also spoke about why he felt there is still more to come from TWE, saying: “I feel really good that we have an unbelievable team in place. There has been quite a lot of critique in the last five, six years of the people changes that we’ve made. I think this is a very different company to what was being run six years ago by the then leadership team. This is an incredible business that we’ve got now with an incredible leadership team.

“These guys who run this business today have proven not just a capability in their areas of finance, or HR, or marketing or running a geography, but also in their resilience.

“Also I’d add one extra thing. They have passion. They own these plans, they own the business, and they love doing what they’re doing.

He added: “I spoke to my team last night [and I told them] I’m absolutely envious of them that I’m not going to be here in three years’ time, five years’ time.

“I’m unbelievably envious of the fact that I’m not going to be running the business at that time when the when these things take place, and this is going to be a bigger and more successful business across an Australian portfolio, American portfolio, French portfolio, and probably by that time more portfolios being announced.

“So I feel like a proud father, I feel upset that I’m not going to be part of it.”

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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