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Constellation spirits president to step down

Robert Hanson, Constellation Brands’ executive vice-president and president of the company’s wine and spirits division, will leave the business in February.

Constellation Brands' Mi Campo Tequila
Constellation Brands owns Mi Campo Tequila, High West Whiskey and Svedka Vodka

The company has begun its search for a replacement, with Bill Newlands, president and CEO, assuming responsibility for the division in the interim.

The two will work together until Hanson’s departure to ensure a smooth transition.

“Robert has been instrumental in leading the charge to reposition our wine and spirits business to a higher-end portfolio of brands more aligned with consumer trends, with an expanded focus to include global, omni-channel distribution, with more robust and targeted international and direct-to-consumer sales channels,” said Newlands.

“We thank Robert for his transformational vision, drive and commitment to our business over the past 11 years, first as a board director, and then as president of our wine and spirits division, and we wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

Hanson joined Constellation in 2019, having served as a member of its board of directors from 2013 to 2019. He previously worked at John Hardy, American Eagle Outfitters, and Levi Strauss & Co.

“I am proud to have served both the board and the wine and spirits division of Constellation Brands, have a deep admiration and respect for the company and its iconic beverage alcohol portfolio and, in particular, its talented team members,” said Hanson.

“With the strategic, operational and capability transformation of the company’s wine and spirits business in place, this is the right time for me to transition leadership and to step down from my role with the company and pursue my future career goals. I look forward to the continued success of the team in the years ahead.”

Last year Constellation Brands’ chairman, Rob Sands, also stood down.

In the second quarter of fiscal 2024, Constellation Brands’s sales grew, although its spirits division plummeted by double digits.

Over the past five years, the company has invested in several US producers, including: Dos Hombres mezcal (founded by Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul), Montanya Distillers, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery and Black Button Distilling.

Last year Catoctin Creek Distilling Company repurchased the minority stake it sold to Constellation Brands in 2017.

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