Proof & Company CEO Paul Broadbent has assembled his executive line up as the independent spirits distributor prepares for its next growth phase in Asia.
Broadbent (above, right) stepped into the role of CEO in April, following a stint as Managing Director of Australia & New Zealand. He was previously National Account Manager for Bacardi-Martini Australia.
Craig Aldous (above, middle), previously CEO of Woolworths China – including Summergate Wine and Spirits – was appointed as General Manager of Proof & Company China in July, replacing Chris Lowder.
One of the largest wine importers in China, Summergate employed 400 staff and represented over 80 brands of wines and spirits.
During his time with Woolworths China, Craig developed a customer-centric culture within the organisation, following the mantra, “If your job is not to serve the customer then it is to support those people who are serving the customer”.
“China is a challenging market but presents opportunities for premium brands – which Proof & Company has in abundance,” said Aldous. “I’m excited about the portfolio and the calibre of partners we work with in the region, as well as the visionary initiatives the company is taking to promote environmental sustainability through its ecoSPIRITS program.“
Aldous was also Commercial Director, North Asia, for Treasury Wine Estates in 2018.
Two prior appointments were Trisha Chan (General Counsel) and Damian Kaehler (General Manager – Australasia; above, left), who joined Proof & Company earlier in the year.
“Each of these appointments have a proven track record in strong leadership which resulted in improved financial performance, increased satisfaction from brand owners and stakeholders, and higher engagement scores from their people, which were all the qualities I was seeking while building out this new leadership group,” said Broadbent.
Vienna Thompson recently stepped into the newly created role of Head of Marketing.
Thompson is a seasoned brand, communications and marketing professional with more than 15 years’ experience in APAC. Based in the Singapore headquarters, Thompson will lead an expanding marketing team across APAC, building not only the Proof & Company brand but the 50+ spirits brands within the portfolio with a focus on consumer and brand experience executions across the Proof & Company markets.
“Proof is an intoxicating (shameless pun) business for a brand marketer; with an entrepreneurial and creative foundation, portfolio of exciting partner brands, passionate people, spirited community … and I’m thrilled to join the newly formed leadership team tasked to evolve an already cool, highly regarded brand,” said Thompson. “The opportunities, and fine drinking occasions, are endless.”
The third and most recent appointment is that of Brandon Grusd as General Manager of the Southeast Asia region based in Singapore. Grusd’s history before Proof & Company includes three years with Maritime & Mercantile International with headquarters in Dubai, UAE and spanning 16 other geographies, through which he undertook a variety of roles in different sectors, including; Head of Spirit Education, Non Alcoholic Category Management for International Markets & FMCG, Head of New Product Innovation & Onboarding, Category and Brand Management for Speciality Products, Corporate Social Responsibility Leader and Advocate and most recently WSET L3 Educator.
Prior to his time with Maritime & Mercantile International, Grusd held a senior role in Dubai as Group Operations Manager, responsible for the management and growth of consultancy project teams throughout the region and abroad – experience which is crucial for the work that Proof Creative does in Singapore and globally. Brandon will now relocate to Singapore with his family to drive the market that started it all for Proof & Company 10 years ago.
“I have been impressed with the growth, innovation and urgency of Proof & Company from afar for some time now and I could not be more excited to be joining the team in Singapore,” Grusd said. “They have effectively expanded through this pandemic by cultivating strong partnerships while maintaining notoriety in the APAC region. I will look to further build team capabilities, driving forward our consumer and brand building focus areas and continue to deliver and grow award winning concepts and distribution through our network.”