Southcorp's executive winemaker Philip Shaw -- who was responsible for such brands as Rosemount, Penfolds, Lindemans and the new joint-venture wines with Mondavi -- has resigned. This is the latest high-profile departure at the troubled Australian wine giant.
Shaw had been winemaker at Rosemount when that company merged with Southcorp in February 2001. He was one of many Rosemount executives to step into key positions at the combined companies.
Publicly held Southcorp -- Australia's largest wine producer -- has been buffeted by financial challenges in recent months. Competition has been particularly keen Down Under and in the United Kingdom, where inexpensive wines from Europe have experienced a surge in popularity. After reporting significant losses this year, Southcorp has seen the value of its stock plummet, and just this week, Standard & Poor's downgraded its credit rating.
As part of an ongoing restructuring, the company fired chief executive Keith Lambert in January, and in April, CFO Peter Cleaves resigned. Like Shaw, both men had been on the Rosemount management team before the merger.
Peter Taylor, a Southcorp veteran with 23 years at the company, replaces Shaw.
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