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Frucor announces changes at the top

Frucor Beverages this week announced the appointment of Jonathan Moss as Group CEO designate, replacing Carl Bergstrom who will retire in April after 15 years service. Mr Moss will remain in his current role of CEO Frucor Australia until a suitable replacement is found. To maintain the business’s momentum and ensure a smooth transition, a new role of Frucor Executive Chairman has been created. Frucor is pleased to announce that Kuni Himeno has been appointed to this role. Current Frucor chairman Nobuhiro Torii will remain on the Frucor board.

Above: Frucor has announced changes at the top. Jonathan Moss (left) has been appointed as Group CEO designate. Carl Bergstrom (centre) will retire in April after 15 years of service. Kuni Himeno (right) has been appointed to the new role of Frucor Executive Chairman.

Mr Moss joined Frucor 10 years ago as the CEO of Frucor Australia and brings more than 25 years of consumer goods experience to the role, having held senior positions with Uncle Toby’s, Coca-Cola Amatil and the Australian Dairy Farmers Group prior to joining Frucor. Under his leadership, Frucor Australia has grown consistently, with the business’s EBIT earnings doubling over the last 10 years. Staff engagement across Frucor Australia has also climbed steadily, with the business recognised as an Aon Hewitt Best Employer in 2011. The business has maintained its position as a leading innovator with the successful development and launch of new products.

Mr Moss is actively involved in the broader Australian beverage industry, and has been President of the Australian Beverage Council since September 2013. Acknowledging the importance of the convenience channel within the broader beverage industry, Mr Moss told C&I WEEK that, (based on the latest Aztec MAT 8.2.15) “The convenience channel continues to play a key growth role for Frucor Australia. Over the last 12 months we have grown 14% against overall beverage market growth of only 4%. Fuelling this growth has been V Energy and a significant new product program including Maximus and OVI Hydration.”

Kuni Himeno re-joins the company from Frucor’s owner Japanese beverage and food company Suntory. He brings extensive knowledge and experience of Frucor, having been part of the company’s leadership team from 2009 to 2011. In 2011, Kuni was appointed Deputy COO of Suntory Liquor’s International Liquor Business where he initiated the project team responsible for Suntory’s acquisition of Beam. In 2014 he was appointed Senior General Manager, International Strategy Department of Suntory Holdings Limited (SHD), where he was in charge of the Beam integration into Suntory.

Carl Bergstrom has led the Frucor Group since May 2011, having previously held the position of CEO of Frucor New Zealand since 2000. In his 15 years with the business, Mr Bergstrom has overseen the growth of Frucor from a local juice company to a more than $500 million international beverage business. In recent years, Mr Bergstrom has led Frucor’s capital expansion programme, with support from Suntory. In 2013, Frucor announced a $45 million five-year innovation and technology investment programme, underpinned by a commitment to increase in-house capacity, grow jobs and drive quality. The first stage of this investment was the opening of the company’s semi-automated distribution centre and new high speed bottling line in 2013. In 2014, Frucor opened a $6 million new research and development hub in Auckland, developing products for New Zealand, Australia and international markets.

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