• Irvine to join in November
  • Formally becomes CEO in January
  • Worked for Nestle since 1998

Nestle executive Stuart Irvine is to become CEO of Australian dairy-to-beer group Lion next year.

Irvine will replace Rob Murray in January. Lion announced in February that Murray, himself a former Nestle executive, would leave the Pura milk and XXXX beer business in early 2013 after over a decade with the company.

Irvine is chief executive of Nestle's business in Russia and Eurasia. He has worked at Nestle since 1998 and had roles across Europe.

He will join Lion in November as part of a "handover period" with Murray.

Earlier this month, Lion's owner, Japanese food and drink group Kirin Holdings, said the Australian firm's net sales fell 4% in the first half of 2012.

Lion's food and dairy division in Australia continued to face "subdued consumer sentiment", Kirin said. "Deep retailer discounting on white milk continues to impact the business," it added, although speciality cheeses South Cape and Tasmanian Heritage saw strong value sales growth over the six-month period.

Show the press release


Lion Appoints Chief Executive Officer

August 20, 2012

Monday August 20, Sydney: Following its announcement that Rob Murray will step down as CEO in early 2013, Lion today announced the appointment of Stuart Irvine, effective 2 January 2013.

Stuart is currently CEO of Nestle Russia and Eurasia – a $2 billion beverage and food business with 10,000 people, 14 production sites and multiple business models.

After finishing his education at Edinburgh University, Stuart started his career in Sales at Procter and Gamble in the United Kingdom before moving to Spillers in 1996. Following the acquisition of Spillers by Nestle in 1998, Stuart became Managing Director of Friskies Petfood Spain and Portugal.

Stuart then moved into various Managing Director and CEO roles within Nestle across the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland and the Baltics, before taking up his current position in Russia.  

Sir Rod Eddington, Chairman of the Lion Board said: “I am delighted to welcome Stuart to Lion. Stuart’s extensive experience in fast moving consumer goods across a diverse range of markets and complex business models will be an asset to Lion.”

Stuart Irvine said: “I am thrilled to be joining Lion and look forward to getting to know the business and its people from November. In addition to its strong stable of iconic brands Lion’s long-term and focused investment in its people and culture is what drew me to the role, and mirrors the approach I have taken at Nestle.

“I am passionate about building brands and thrive on the fast-paced and dynamic environment the consumer goods sector provides. As the leading food and beverage businesses in Australasia, Lion provides the ideal mix of opportunity and challenge in an exciting and continuously evolving market.”

Stuart was appointed through a rigorous and values-based recruitment process. To ensure a smooth transition, a handover period with Rob will commence from mid-November 2012.


Original source: Lion