RTD maker Australian Vintage fires CEO for misconduct

Wine and spirits producer Australian Vintage has dismissed its CEO for conduct the board deemed was ‘inconsistent’ with the company’s values.

Australian Vintage, which produces a number if wines, spirits and ready-to-drink (RTD) products, such as RTD brand Mr Stubbs and Rescued Spirit Co, said CEO Craig Garvin had displayed a ‘lack of judgement’ in his conduct, which was ‘inconsistent with the values of the company and the high standards expected of its chief executive officer’.

Garvin left the company with immediate effect.

Richard David, chairman of Australian Vintage, said: “The board thanks Craig for his service to the company over the past four years, and the contributions he has made to the business over that time.

“These include steering the company through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the development and executive of the company’s five-year strategic plan, which transformed AVG [Australian Vintage] into a consumer-led branded business with a commitment to innovation.

“While we are disappointed by the circumstances leading to his departure, we believe this decision is in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders. The board remains committed to upholding the highest standards of conduct and accountability for all employees, including senior leadership.”

Australian Vintage’s non-executive director, Peter Perrin, has been named acting CEO.

Perrin’s experience includes manager and director roles at several large listed, private and boutique wine companies in Australia, the US and New Zealand over the past four decades.

He is also chairman of the Australian Vintage board’s risk and sustainability committee, and is a member of the people, remuneration and culture committee.

The business will pay Garvin his accrued entitlements, plus a payment in lieu of his six-month notice period as per his employment contract.

The 562,705 shares currently held in trust under escrow will be released from escrow and transferred to Garvin.

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Author: Melita Kiely