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23/06/2009

New AWBC chief executive appointed

The board of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation announced yesterday that experienced wine industry executive Andrew Cheesman has been appointed chief executive of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC), commencing 24 June.

“Andrew’s appointment comes at a critical time for the Australian wine sector,” said AWBC chairman, the Hon John Moore AO. “Andrew has been tasked with forging closer links with the other wine sector organisations to provide coordinated strategic direction and leadership as the sector adjusts to a rapidly changing global wine environment.”

Commenting on his new appointment, Cheesman said: “I look forward to working closely with the new AWBC board and the other industry organisations, to provide leadership to our stakeholders as we implement a consistent and credible industry strategy. I am committed to the AWBC providing an efficient, agile, stakeholder orientated service and being genuinely accountable for implementation.”

Moore said, “The appointment of the new chief executive has taken longer than normal as, since the previous chief executive’s departure, a new board has been appointed and a review of the structure of the national wine sector organisations has been undertaken. We are delighted to welcome an executive of Andrew's caliber.”

South Australian educated, Cheesman practised as a chartered accountant before joining South Australian listed wine company Petaluma Limited as group accountant in 1998. Following the company’s takeover by Lion Nathan Limited in 2001, he was appointed general manager of Petaluma Wines. He was appointed winery operations director for the Lion Nathan Wine Group in 2004 and then served as strategy manager from 2006. In this role, Cheesman developed and implemented strategies to enhance earnings and build brand value. He was key in providing operations and business insights for the development of growth strategies, developing long term operations plans that maximised efficiency of capital and operational performance and was involved in route to market and portfolio and brand development strategies and initiatives. Leading environmental and sustainability initiatives, Cheesman was a member of the Sustainability Leadership Group in the Lion Nathan Australia business. He was also a key consult for merger, divestment and acquisition strategies and due diligence activities.

A member of the Adelaide Hills Wine Region Executive, Cheesman has championed the cause of ensuring the wine business in Lion Nathan remained steadfastly focused on premium regional wine propositions. He has an unwavering commitment and enthusiasm to work with industry participants and associated bodies to stay true to the course of building value in the Australian wine industry.

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