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Treasury Wine Estates CEO announces plans to retire

The Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE) share price will be on watch on Monday after a major announcement this morning.

What did Treasury Wine Estates announce?

This morning the global wine company announced that its chief executive officer, Michael Clarke, has informed the board of his intention to retire in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. This provides approximately one year’s notice.

According to the release, Mr Clarke intends to return to the UK to focus on spending time with his family.

What now?

The Treasury Wine Estates board has acted swiftly and appointment a replacement already.

The release explains that Tim Ford, the company’s chief operating officer, will be appointed to the role of chief executive officer when Mr Clarke retires. The board believe this reflects the company’s strong succession planning.

The new CEO will also have the counsel of Mr Clarke for one year. He has agreed to act in the capacity of advisor to the company for up to an additional one-year period. This will see Clarke provide strategic support across key initiatives including potential merger and acquisition opportunities.

The company’s chairman, Paul Rayner, commented: “It is without question the extraordinary transformation and outstanding financial returns that TWE has achieved, have been driven by Michael’s leadership over the past five and a half years. The structural changes and initiatives delivered by Michael and his team have established TWE as a significantly stronger business than when he first joined the Company, and one that is very well placed to continue delivering sustainable, margin accretive growth well into the future.”

“I, along with the Board, would like to sincerely thank Michael for his tremendous character and exceptional contribution to our Company, and for his ongoing support during the transition period,” he added.

The chairman also spoke highly of the company’s next CEO.

Rayner said: “As Chief Operating Officer, he has been running the operation of all TWE regions since January 2019, and prior to that as Deputy Chief Operating Officer ran the Asia, Europe and ANZ regions. His depth and breadth of experience within our business is therefore well proven. I am confident he is a strong leader to take TWE into its next exciting phase. We have an excellent Executive Leadership Team in place and the Company’s five-year strategic plans demonstrate that the best years are still to come. I look forward to seeing the positive momentum in the Company continue.”

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Treasury Wine Estates Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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