Foster's Group, the Australian beverage giant, has appointed Trevor O'Hoy as its next president and CEO to replace Ted Kunkel, who will officially step down on April 5.
Kunkel has been CEO since 1992 and helped turn around what had been a troubled company at the time of his appointment. He will remain at Foster's until June 30 to "enable a smooth transition," according to a company statement. The company did not comment on why he is leaving, but indicated it was following an orderly succession plan.
Foster's has been disappointed in recent earnings from its Beringer Blass Wine Estates division, which encompasses wineries in Australia, California, Italy and New Zealand, including brands such as Beringer, Chateau St. Jean, Etude, Greg Norman Meridian, Stags' Leap and Wolf Blass. Earlier this year, Beringer Blass made changes in its management structure.
O'Hoy, who has been with Foster's for 28 years, most recently worked as managing director of Carlton and United Breweries, one of Foster's beer divisions. Prior to that, he served as the company's CFO and helped oversee the purchase of Beringer Wine Estates in 2000.
Foster's chairman Frank Swan said O'Hoy was chosen because of his understanding of the importance of brand recognition and management and of customer service.
Swan said, "Throughout his career at Foster's, Trevor has demonstrated excellent strategic skills and the ability to bring fresh, new insight to each position he has undertaken, making him the ideal candidate to lead Foster's next generation of management."