Leadership changes position Frucor Beverages for further growth

26 Feb 2015

Frucor Beverages has announced the appointment of Jonathan Moss as Group CEO designate. Jonathan will replace Carl Bergstrom who retires in April after 15 years at Frucor. Jonathan will remain in his current role of CEO Frucor Australia until a suitable replacement is found. To maintain the business’s momentum and ensure a smooth transition, a new role of Frucor Executive Chairman has been created. Frucor is pleased to announce that Kuni Himeno has been appointed to this role. Current Frucor chairman Nobuhiro Torii will remain on the Frucor board.

Jonathan joined Frucor 10 years ago as the CEO of Frucor Australia. He brings more than 25 years consumer goods experience to the role, having held senior positions with Uncle Toby’s, Coca-Cola Amatil and the Australian Dairy Farmers Group prior to joining Frucor.

Under Jonathan’s leadership Frucor Australia has grown consistently, with the business’s EBIT earnings doubling over the last 10 years. Staff engagement across Frucor Australia has also climbed steadily, with the business recognised as an Aon Hewitt Best Employer in 2011. Frucor Australia is known as an innovative market leader; energy drink V holds leading share of the Australian energy market. The business has also successfully developed and launched new products such as sports drink Maximus and OVI Hydration, with both brands having a strong impact in the Australian market. Jonathan is actively involved in the broader Australian beverage industry, and has been President of the Australian Beverage Council since September 2013.

Kuni Himeno re-joins the company from Frucor’s owner Japanese beverage and food company Suntory. He brings extensive knowledge and experience of Frucor, having been part of the company’s leadership team from 2009 to 2011. In 2011, Kuni was appointed Deputy COO of Suntory Liquor’s International Liquor Business where he initiated the project team responsible for Suntory’s acquisition of Beam. In 2014 he was appointed Senior General Manager, International Strategy Department of Suntory Holdings Limited (SHD), where he was in charge of the Beam integration into Suntory.

Carl Bergstrom has led the Frucor Group since May 2011. Prior to this Carl was CEO of Frucor New Zealand, a position he held since joining the company in 2000.

In his 15 years with the business, Carl has overseen the growth of Frucor from a local juice company to a more than $500 million international beverage business. In recent years Carl has led Frucor’s capital expansion programme, with support from Suntory. In 2013, Frucor announced a $45 million five-year innovation and technology investment programme, underpinned by a commitment to increase in-house capacity, grow jobs and drive quality. The first stage of this investment was the opening of the company’s semi-automated distribution centre and new high speed bottling line in 2013. In 2014, Frucor opened a $6 million new research and development hub in Auckland, developing products for New Zealand, Australia and international markets.

Prior to joining Frucor, Carl was General Manager for Carter Holt Harvey Distribution Group and Carters Building Supplies, and held senior executive roles in Carter Holt Harvey’s consumer products division.

Nobuhiro Torii, Frucor Chairman and President of Suntory Beverage & Food Limited recognised Carl’s contribution to the business and welcomed Jonathan’s appointment.

“Carl has led the Frucor group of companies with strong commercial focus and discipline during a period where we’ve experienced challenging industry and economic conditions and unrivalled levels of competition. Carl is highly respected as a leader not only across Frucor, but also within Suntory. Frucor’s results speak for themselves and I thank Carl for his contribution to the business over the last 15 years.

“After an extensive process it is very pleasing to appoint Frucor’s next Group CEO from within the business. Jonathan will bring strong, proven leadership, a commitment to Frucor’s people and our values, and an unwavering passion for innovation that will see Frucor through its next period of growth and expansion,” said Mr Torii.

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