Lion Group has announced that Shaun Belongie will become the next Chief Executive Officer of New Belgium, the company’s North American craft beer and fine wine business.
Following the departure of former CEO Steve Fechheimer, Lion conducted an extensive search and interview process, including a range of both internal and external candidates.
Belongie has been New Belgium’s Chief Marketing Officer for the past five years.
Lion Group CEO Sam Fischer said: “The United States is a strategically important market for the Lion Group, and we are delighted to welcome Shaun as the next CEO of New Belgium.
“Shaun’s breadth of experience, innovative mindset, commercial acumen and great love of the New Belgium culture and co-workers makes Shaun an excellent fit to lead team. I also want to thank and acknowledge Danielle McLarnon for her exceptional leadership as Interim CEO, and she will continue to play a crucial role as New Belgium’s Chief Financial Officer.
“The future for New Belgium is incredibly bright and I look forward to working alongside Shaun and the team to continue its growth story.”
Belongie said: “New Belgium Brewing is a special place, powered by the best people in the business. I am deeply humbled to have the opportunity to work every day alongside these incredible coworkers. I want to thank Lion Group CEO Sam Fischer for his confidence in me to help guide New Belgium into its next chapter and Kim Jordan for her inspiration in rethinking what a business can be.”
New Belgium is North America’s largest craft beer platform, with an unrivaled portfolio after joining forces with Bell’s Brewery in 2022.
With brands including Voodoo Ranger and Fat Tire Ale – America’s first certified carbon neutral beer, Two Hearted IPA and Oberon Ale, along with popular and innovative brands like Dominga Mimosa Sour, Hopslam, and La Folie Sour Brown Ale and an award-winning wood-aged sour program, New Belgium continues to outpace industry growth.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Shaun Belongie at the helm,” said New Belgium Co-Founder Kim Jordan. “Throughout his career Shaun has demonstrated the benefits of doing business intentionally, which is what New Belgium has been about since the beginning. Our coworkers, communities, and distributors are in great hands.”
In Belongie’s role as Chief Marketing Officer he successfully built Voodoo Ranger into one of the hottest brands in beer with sales tripling from three million to nine million cases over a three-year period, including launching Juice Force in 2022, the biggest innovation by sales in craft beer history. Overseeing both the New Belgium and Bell’s portfolios since they joined forces in 2022, he successfully led the integration of the Bell’s marketing team and developed the “Never Trend” brand platform for Bell’s Two Hearted IPA, driving renewed growth momentum for the brand.
Prior to joining New Belgium Brewing, Belongie spent 20 years in consumer-packaged goods, including stints at Kraft Foods and Nestle Purina, the latter where he led flagship brands with a highly innovative approach to product development, branding, and digital strategy. Belongie holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Marquette University and earned an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washing University in Saint Louis.
Danielle McLarnon, who has served as Interim CEO since August will return to her role as Chief Financial Officer as Belongie transitions into the CEO role.
“I want to thank Danielle for her steady leadership over the last few months as acting CEO,” Belongie said. “Danielle’s guidance through this transition has been invaluable.”
Belongie will step in the CEO role immediately, and the organisation will be sharing details in the near future on plans for filling the vacant Chief Marketing Officer role.