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Lion – Dairy & Drinks Leadership changes

Lion today announced that following a three year assignment in the Dairy & Drinks business, Managing Director Peter Kean will step down from the role at the end of March 2014 to return to New Zealand.

Lion today announced that following a three year assignment in the Dairy & Drinks business, Managing Director Peter Kean will step down from the role at the end of March 2014 to return to New Zealand.  He will continue to work on key strategic projects for Lion until the end of September 2014, at which time he will leave the business to explore other opportunities.

Peter has been with Lion for over 27 years, having joined as a sales executive at Speight’s Brewery in 1986. He went on to hold a number of senior sales roles in the New Zealand business before being appointed MD, Lion Nathan Wines & Spirits New Zealand in 2004.  He then went on to become MD for Lion Nathan New Zealand in 2005, and subsequently this role expanded to encompass Lion’s global wine business. Peter moved to Melbourne in April 2011 to take up the role of MD, Lion Dairy & Drinks.  

Lion Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Irvine, said “I would like to extend my thanks to Peter, who has made an enormous contribution to the business across a number of senior roles in New Zealand and Australia. True to his character Peter gave Lion notice of his intentions earlier in the year, providing ample notice for succession planning and a smooth transition. Under his leadership, the Dairy & Drinks business has made many important changes to position itself for long term growth and sustainability, including the implementation of significant efficiency programs to deliver a competitive cost base and targeted innovation in higher value categories.”

Peter West will join Lion early in 2014 to succeed Peter Kean after an appropriate handover.  Peter West is currently President of the Mars Company’s chocolate business in Europe and has extensive experience in the food and snack industries both in Australia and overseas.  Peter West joined Campbell Arnott’s in 1999 as VP Marketing for Arnott’s Biscuits in Australia and New Zealand.  He was subsequently promoted to General Manager of that business in 2002, re-joining Mars in 2005 as GM of its snack food business in Australia and Global Brand Leader for Snickers.  He relocated to Brussels in December 2010 to take on the role of President of the Mars chocolate business in Continental Europe.  This business encompasses five markets, six factories, 3,500 people and around AUD two billion of annual revenue.

“I am delighted to welcome a leader of Peter West’s calibre to our Company,” continued Stuart. “I look forward to his contribution, and in particular to his leadership of our Dairy & Drinks business, as it continues to improve its competitiveness and position itself for sustainable growth in challenging market conditions.

“On behalf of all Lion people, I congratulate Peter West on his appointment, and thank Peter Kean for his outstanding contribution to our business over many years.”