Lion announces three leadership appointments

Lion has announced three leadership appointments in Australia across its marketing and spirits divisions as it looks to drive growth in new avenues.

Lion Chief Marketing Officer Anubha Sahasrabuddhe will step into the newly created leadership role of Chief Growth Officer, extending her remit to include strategy, data, digital and technology.

CEO Sam Fischer said: “Creating a standalone growth portfolio within the business allows us to further prioritise investment in innovation and new market opportunities while continuing to grow our global brand portfolio.

“Anubha has played a critical role in driving Lion’s innovation and thought leadership agenda forward, and I know she will take on expanded responsibilities with enthusiasm and purpose, ensuring we’re delivering a best-in-class digital experience for our customers, consumers and our people.”

Sahasrabuddhe said: “Culture and technology are two of the biggest forces driving businesses like ours forward – both are changing at a dramatic pace. Helping businesses and brands grow by aggregating capabilities in data and digital is something I’m very passionate about, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring this to life with the growth team during an exciting period for our business.”

Rachel Ellerm has been appointed Marketing Director – Lion Australia. Ellerm is currently Marketing Director for Lion New Zealand and brings more than 25 years’ experience across alcohol beverages, consumer goods and retail businesses, including senior marketing roles at Coca Cola, Goodman Fielder and Yum! Brands. She is also a past recipient of the prestigious ‘NZ Marketer of the Year’ award.

Lion Australia Managing Director David Smith said: “We are thrilled to welcome Rachel to our Australian leadership team. She brings incredible energy and passion for Lion’s brands and people. Over the past four years, Rach has demonstrated impressive marketing leadership in New Zealand, taking the Lion portfolio to the number one position in the market and establishing Speight’s as New Zealand’s leading beer brand.”

Lion also announced the appointment of Ed Stening as General Manager – Spirits. In this newly created role, Stening will lead the Vanguard Luxury Brands spirits distribution business that Lion acquired in 2021 alongside Lion’s shareholding in the award-winning Four Pillars Gin. Stening was previously Connections Director at Lion.

Smith said: “We see plenty of headroom for growth in spirits and this appointment on our leadership team reflects our belief in the opportunity ahead. Ed brings extensive global experience in spirits, having spent several years in Spain with Beam Suntory as Marketing Director, Global Travel Retail. He deeply understands and is passionate about brand building, and combines this with exceptional and innovative digital, channel and commercial experience.”

The founder of Vanguard Luxury Brands, James France, announced earlier this month that he had decided to leave the company. 

“After months of deep reflection and as I turn 60, I have come to the decision that it’s the right time for me to leave Vanguard,” he said.

“I have worked closely with the Vanguard and Lion teams to ensure a smooth transition.  With this now complete, I am so happy to see that Vanguard is now standing strongly on its own two feet and ready to enter the next phase of its growth. 

“Everyone at Lion has been incredibly supportive at every turn and I will always be grateful for this.”  

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Categories: Business