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News Alert: Ste. Michelle’s Ted Baseler To Retire, Jim Mortensen Named Successor

August 22, 2018

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates president and CEO Ted Baseler will retire October 1 after a 17-year tenure leading the Washington-based wine giant. Baseler will be succeeded by Jim Mortensen, a veteran of Philip Morris International.

Baseler is credited with overseeing a marked expansion of the Ste. Michelle business, including a number of strategic acquisitions, capital investments, and the development of an imported wines division which now includes Marchesi Antinori (Italy), Miguel Torres (Spain, Chile), Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (France) and Villa Maria (New Zealand). He also orchestrated SMWE’s acquisition of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars with the Antinori family in 2007, and led a commitment to wine quality across the company, earning accolades including Wine Spectator’s Wine of the Year for Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon in 2009.

As president and CEO, Baseler increased operating company income from $21 million in 2000 to $146 million in 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 12.1%. Wine shipment volume grew from 2.8 million cases to 8.5 million cases over that same period, with a compound annual growth rate of 6.8%. Baseler began his career with Ste. Michelle as director of marketing in 1984.

SMWE’s new leader, Jim Mortensen, has had a long career in the consumer packaged goods industry, with roles including Region President, Latin America & Canada for Philip Morris International (PMI); President, Philip Morris Japan; Vice President, Trade Marketing for Philip Morris (USA); and Senior Vice President, Sales & Distribution for Miller Brewing Company. Most recently, he was PMI’s Senior Vice President, Human Resources.—Daniel Marsteller

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