Rob Sands will step down as CEO of Constellation Brands on March 1, 2019, the New York-based alcohol beverage company announced today.
Assuming the role from Sands will be Bill Newlands, who joined Constellation as chief growth officer in 2015 and took over as president from Sands in February.
“Since joining Constellation Brands in 2015, Bill has made a significant impact on our company, finding ways to leverage our unique capabilities as a leading total beverage alcohol provider to meet consumers’ evolving needs and accelerate growth,” Sands said via a press release. “Bill understands what it takes to succeed in this rapidly evolving market and he’s the right person to lead our company going forward.”
“I look forward to working with Rob, Richard, our Board of Directors, and the Constellation Brands team to ensure we continue building on the momentum our company has gained in the marketplace for many years to come,” Newlands added.
Constellation is the third largest beer company in the U.S., and it sells popular imported Mexican beer labels such as Corona, Modelo and Pacifico. The company also owns three craft breweries – Ballast Point Brewing, Funky Buddha and Four Corners.
Sands, the third generation in his family to lead the beer, wine and spirits company, will become executive chairman, a role currently held by his brother, Richard Sands, who will become executive vice chairman.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Sands — who led the company for the last 11 years after officially joining the business in 1986 — said he would remain involved as the executive chair of the company in order to continue overseeing a roughly $4 billion investment in Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp.
Today’s announcement is the latest in several organizational moves made by Constellation this year.
On August 16, the same day it announced the Canopy investment, the company terminated around 60 employees who were tasked with selling the company’s craft and specialty beers throughout the U.S.
In early October, the company promoted Mallika Monteiro to the role of senior vice president and chief growth officer, supplanting Jared Fix, who left the company.
In July, the company promoted John Alvarado to the role of senior vice president of brand marketing for its beer division. That came just two months after Jim Sabia, who had been serving as the CMO of Constellation’s beer division, took over as the executive vice president and CMO of the entire company.
When Constellation promoted Sabia, it also announced that craft and specialty president Marty Birkel would leave the company in late February 2019. Long-time Constellation executive Ben Dollard, who was named as Birkel’s replacement, has already taken on the craft and specialty title. Also in May, beer division chief commercial officer Bruce Jacobsen assumed responsibility for the craft and specialty brands.
A press release with additional details is included below.
Constellation Brands Names Bill Newlands Next CEO
Newlands to Succeed Rob Sands Effective March 1, 2019 Sands to Become Executive Chair
VICTOR, N.Y., Oct. 17, 2018 − Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a leading beverage alcohol company, today announced Bill Newlands will assume the role of president and chief executive officer (CEO), succeeding current CEO Rob Sands, on March 1, 2019. Also effective March 1, 2019, Rob Sands will assume the role of executive chair. Richard Sands, who is currently serving in the role of executive chair, will assume the role of executive vice chair on March 1, 2019.
“Since joining Constellation Brands in 2015, Bill has made a significant impact on our company, finding ways to leverage our unique capabilities as a leading total beverage alcohol provider to meet consumers’ evolving needs and accelerate growth,” said Constellation Brands’ CEO Rob Sands. “Bill understands what it takes to succeed in this rapidly evolving market and he’s the right person to lead our company going forward.”
Newlands joined Constellation Brands in 2015 as executive vice president and chief growth officer. In 2016, he assumed additional responsibilities as president of the company’s Wine & Spirits Division. In 2017, Newlands became the company’s chief operating officer, and he assumed the role of president in early 2018. Prior to joining Constellation Brands, Newlands held several senior leadership roles in the beverage alcohol industry spanning more than 30 years.
“Bill has a deep understanding and appreciation for the values that have made Constellation Brands one of the top performing S&P 500 companies,” said Richard Sands, Constellation Brands’ executive chair. “I look forward to the continued success of our company under Bill’s leadership.”
“I am honored to be selected as Constellation Brands’ next CEO,” said Newlands. “I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the leadership Rob, Richard and Marvin Sands provided over the years. I look forward to working with Rob, Richard, our Board of Directors, and the Constellation Brands team to ensure we continue building on the momentum our company has gained in the marketplace for many years to come.”
Newlands will work with Rob Sands over the coming months to ensure a smooth leadership transition once these changes become effective in March.
About Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a Fortune 500® company, is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Constellation is the No. 3 beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico. The company’s beer portfolio also includes Ballast Point, one of the most awarded craft brewers in the U.S., and Funky Buddha Brewery. In addition, Constellation is the world leader in premium wine, selling great brands that people love, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Black Box, Ruffino and The Prisoner. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila and High West Whiskey.
Based in Victor, N.Y., the company believes that industry leadership involves a commitment to brand building, our trade partners, the environment, our investors and to consumers around the world who choose our products when celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones. Founded in 1945, Constellation has grown to become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio; about 40 wineries, breweries and distilleries; and approximately 10,000 talented employees. We express our company vision: to elevate life with every glass raised.
To learn more, follow us on Twitter @cbrands and visit www.cbrands.com