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Wine Group’s Kent Becomes Vice Chairman, Vos Is Named President And CEO

August 21, 2012

David Kent has moved on from the post of president and CEO of The Wine Group (TWG), which he’s held since 2001, to become vice chairman of the wine giant, Shanken News Daily has learned. Company veteran Brian Vos, who was most recently president of TWG’s Underdog Wine & Spirits unit, has replaced Kent as chief executive.

Vos, formerly director of finance at E&J Gallo, came to TWG in 2002 as vice president, supply chain. His other roles with TWG have included president, Velocity Brands, and chief operating officer. Meanwhile, TWG founder and former chairman Art Ciocca has taken the chairman emeritus title, and former vice chairman Bill Jesse has been named chairman of the group. All of the changes were effective August 3.

During Kent’s tenure as CEO, TWG saw double-digit average annual growth in volume, revenue and EBITDA. The Livermore, California-based company now has sales of 62 million cases and $1 billion, having added 40 million cases (one-third acquired and two-thirds organically) since 2001.

When Kent came to TWG, the company was primarily known for Franzia, still the largest wine brand both in the U.S. (up 6.3% to 25.3 million cases in 2011) and globally (up 4.8% to 27.3 million cases). While Franzia has added over 4 million cases in the U.S. since 2002, Kent also helped expand TWG’s profile through more than a dozen acquisitions—including the Big House and Cardinal Zin brands from Bonny Doon in 2006 and a $134 million deal to acquire Almaden, Inglenook (subsequently sold to Francis Ford Coppola) and Paul Masson from Constellation in 2008. He also extended the company’s production into Australia and Argentina and founded the Underdog unit, which has become an incubator for many of TWG’s fastest-growing brands of late, including Impact “Hot Brands” Cupcake, Fisheye and Flipflop. Underdog’s portfolio now accounts for 6 million cases and $350 million in revenue.


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