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DB boss Blake to step down

DB Breweries managing director Brian Blake, who is one of the country’s longest standing business leaders, is stepping down but will stay on as chairman.

Mr Blake has been boss at DB for the past 20 years and joined the company in 1983 as finance director to DB’s central region based in Wellington.

DB Breweries is wholly owned by Singapore-based Asia Pacific Breweries, which itself is to become fully owned by global brewer Heineken of the Netherlands.

Mr Blake says despite a declining beer market and tough economic conditions, DB has achieved three consecutive years of double digit profit growth.

“I am extremely pleased with our results over the past three years. Besides the performance of key brands like Heineken, Tui, Monteith’s and Export, DB has achieved success through developing new business opportunities,” he says. 

“Our investment in [Monteith's] gastro pubs has been very successful, as has our foray into the competitive Australian market, where our beer and cider sales are growing quickly.”

Mr Blake’s successor will be appointed in the coming months.

Comments and questions

Too many CEOs stay well past their used by just need to look at Vodafone, Telstraclear, Sky TV, Mighty River Power. Boards need to focus more on succession planning and rotate after 7+ years.

and too many recruitment consultants encourage regular churn of senior managers to feather their own pockets. The result is "butterfly" managers, hopping from one company to another screwing them up with constantly changing strategies and approaches focused more on achieving their own short term incentive bonuses than creating real value for all stakeholders. Fresh ideas and thinking is important to any organisation, as is succession planning, but this doesn't mean changing your CEO every 5 minutes. DB has achieved great results, changed direction to accomodate, pre-empt and create market changes all under the leadership of one good CEO.

Pre-empt and create market changes? Please! DB are playing catch up to the craft beer market, which is the only beer market growing at the moment. Lion buying out Emerson's only confirms that.

What a ridiculous statement re recruitment consultants - there are so few opportunities at the top in nz how on earth do they have the power to influence people to move on. A new CEO comes in and makes the changes they see fit to work with their strategy. Recruiters come in after the event.

This should really of happened 15 years ago. DB has fallen well behind the game. It wasn't that long ago Mr Blake described RTDs as a 'fad'. Other breweries jumped at the chance of a new category in the marketplace while DB dragged its feet for years. Also, the fact that DB jumped into bed with one of the smallest liquor retail chains while ignoring the larger chains created a lot of animosity among the trade which was very detrimental to the market share side of the business. Their handling of the sponsorship of the RWC was amateur in comparison to Lion's effort with Steinlager. Brian Blake, pushed or jumped?

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