Carlton & United Breweries seeks new CEO

Asahi Beverages has announced that Peter Filipovic is retiring as CEO of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) and passing the torch to a new leader for the business.

Filipovic (pictured below at CUB’s Pub Reopening Ceremony last year) will soon have achieved 25 years of service with the business and has decided now is the right time for him to retire from the business, following the successful integration of CUB with Asahi in June 2020.

Robert Iervasi, Group CEO of Asahi Beverages, said: “Peter has played an important role in the smooth integration of CUB and the continued growth of our business. He has given great service to CUB and Asahi Beverages.

“Asahi Beverages plans to announce the new CEO of the CUB business division in Q3 2021. That person will also join our Asahi Beverages Executive Leadership Team. They will play an important role in helping deliver on our multi-beverage strategy and leading our very experienced CUB Leadership Team.”

Filipovic added: “It’s been a privilege to have served as CEO of CUB and a member of the Asahi Beverages Executive Leadership Team. It’s a phenomenal business, with exceptional people and an unrivalled portfolio. I’m leaving the business knowing that it’s in great hands and well set-up for long-term success.”

He will step down as CUB CEO once a new CEO for the business has been appointed.

Prior to being CEO of CUB, Filipovic was the Business Unit President for Australia, and CUB Sales Director. He has held a variety of roles within the company since joining as a tax graduate in 1997, including Sales Director On Premise, Commercial Finance Director and General Manager of Taxation. Peter holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Economics (Accounting) from Monash University, and is a Chartered Accountant.

Tributes to “Flip” flow

Filipovic, or “Flip” as he is known in the industry, was instrumental in CUB acquiring craft beer brands including Four Pines, Balter (above) and Pirate Life.

“What the craft category has been able to do for us is provide romance … the wine category has led that for many years,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2019. “Having people talk about beer again is actually the positive attribute.”

Australian Hotels Association state chief executive Paddy O’Sullivan added: “The pub industry looks to CUB under the leadership of Flip to drive a lot of that customer insight and that market insight,” says O’Sullivan. “They are leading the way to deal with those obvious challenges.”

He described Filipovic as “skilled and respected” and said he never looked to create an unfair advantage against competitors, but was more interested in growing the industry as a whole.

“He’s got a great knowledge of the business, a great commercial background, but what’s really impressive is he spends a lot of time and effort on industry partnerships and relationships,” O’Sullivan noted.

Among the industry identities who celebrated Filipovic’s decision was Brad Madigan, Managing Director UK at Campari Group, who said: “Congratulations Peter. Well deserved. An amazing contribution to CUB in all its forms and the wider industry.

David Halliday, Managing & Commercial Director at Campari Australia added: “Very well done on a brilliant job over such a long time.”

Danny Savage, General Manager Sales at Carlton & United Breweries, noted: “25 years, over 10% of that time as our CEO, and more than 20% leading Sales prior to Tax, but it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the impact. You’ve led us towards a consistent vision & strategy through 3 acquisitions, helped us transform to set us up for the digital age, and not to mention steadied the ship through a pandemic! Thanks for the massive impact and setting us up for the future Flip.”

Paul Allen at Margin Partners said: “One of the finest leaders in the beverage sector. Congratulations Peter Filipovic on a stellar career.”

New Non-Executive Director for Asahi Beverages

Roland van Bommel, Chairman of Asahi Holdings Australia, is also pleased to announce that Natalie Toohey has been appointed to join the Board of Asahi Holdings Australia.

Natalie is a seasoned corporate affairs specialist with senior leadership and advisory experience across a range of sectors including FMCG, particularly alcohol and beverages.

She will advise on supporting the implementation of business strategy through communication, reputation management, sustainability and government & industry strategy.

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