Stone Brewing today announced that co-founder Greg Koch is stepping down as CEO of the company and transitioning into a new role as executive chairman, a position that will remove him from day-to-day operations.
Stone, the nation’s ninth largest craft brewery by volume, is now searching for a new CEO to take over for Koch, however, it offered no timeline as to when the position will be filled.
“This is a natural progression once companies reach our size and complexity,” said Koch in a statement. “I see this as an opportunity to focus on future direction and projects for Stone Brewing. Most importantly, we are looking for someone who can contribute to our executive team and understands our vision for craft beer.”
The company said Koch would remain closely involved in the development of its two new breweries in Berlin, Germany and Richmond, Va.
Additional information can be found in a press statement below:
ESCONDIDO, CA (Sept. 11, 2015) – Today, San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. is pleased to announce that co-founder Greg Koch will be promoted (with the blessing from his business partner, of course) from CEO and transition into a new role as Executive Chairman. The incoming CEO is expected to lead day-to-day operations and initiatives. Ultimately, once this future candidate is selected and the onboarding process is complete, Koch will focus on long-term and higher-level strategic planning for the company.
Koch has served as CEO for the past 19 years. Since starting the company with President, co-founder & original Brewmaster Steve Wagner in 1996, Stone has become one of the fastest-growing and highest-rated breweries in the world, thanks to dedicated fans and Koch and Wagner’s commitment to brewing amazing craft beer. The ninth largest craft beer company in the United States now employs more than 1,100 employees and operates multiple locations in Southern California, including two Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurants. In July 2014, it was announced that Stone would become the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe.
“This is a natural progression once companies reach our size and complexity,” explains Koch. “I see this as an opportunity to focus on future direction and projects for Stone Brewing. Most importantly, we are looking for someone who can contribute to our executive team and understands our vision for craft beer.”
Koch will continue working closely to complete the development of Stone Brewing Berlin and oversee the company’s expansion into Richmond, VA. There is no set timeframe or expected hire date for an incoming CEO. The priority is to find an individual with the necessary skill set, passion for Stone and all things craft beer, and one who can support the efforts to provide high-quality craft beer worldwide.
“The ‘co-founder’ part of my title won’t change…that will never change,” says Koch. “I get to keep that one for life, with all the beer privileges of course!”
Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. is the ninth largest craft brewer in the United States. Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 11 times, and has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The multifaceted company will be the first American craft brewer to own and operate a brewery in Europe, and is also building a production brewery and destination restaurant in Richmond, Virginia. Brewing at both locations is anticipated to begin in early 2016. Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone has earned a reputation for brewing outstanding, unique beers while maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainability, business ethics, philanthropy and the art of brewing. For more information on Stone Brewing Co., please visit stonebrewing.com or the company’s social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and The Stone Blog.