January 15, 2014
BBD has learned that North American Breweries chief Rich Lozyniak has decided to leave the company, according to distributors on an NAB conference call today. The company will initiate a search for a new CEO. Florida Ice & Farm Co. chief Ramon Mendiola Sanchez praised Rich as a "builder of companies" but as NAB is now a "more mature and stable" company, he wants to go to a "new challenge." Rich will stay on until a new CEO is found.
"I've really enjoyed getting to know this business and our wholesale partners," said Rich on the call. "This really is the best business in the world." Rich said he sat down with Ramon and decided to move on, and it is an amicable departure.
Peter Bodenham, vp marketing, is also leaving the company and also got praise from Ramon for his work there. Current sales vp James Pendergraft will take on the new title of VP sales and marketing on Feb 1.
Rich was installed at NAB back in 2009 when it was bought by investment bankers from AB InBev and called Labatt USA. Since then he shepherded in many improvements to the High Falls brewery's infrastructure and oversaw the purchase and integration of Magic Hat/Pyramid.
NAB is gearing up for their distributor meeting in Costa Rica in a few weeks. Recall that this time last year, NAB's new owner Florida Ice & Farm Co. of Costa Rica set an ambitious goal for NAB: double the business in three to five years. So far it's been tough going. NAB's volumes in IRI scanned channels were down nearly 7% in 2013. The year before was soft too as the sale was then a "distracting process" that demanded attention that could have gone to the marketplace, said Rich at the time (see BBD 01-25-2013). We wish him well.
CORRECTION: Earlier today we misquoted A-B's Brian Perkins regarding the Budweiser Clydesdale Super Bowl ad "Puppy Love". That sentence should have read: A-B is putting on the super cute charm with an ad which shows the "unlikely relationship" between a puppy and a horse. [Not "unnatural", that would be weird]. My apologies to Brian for the error.
IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT, Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy has written an amazing piece for Vice.com where he describes his incredbile ordeal in Beirut when he was briefly taken hostage and how the situation has popped back into his life recently. Steve told me this story in person a few weeks ago over Brooklyn Lagers at Peter Luger's Steakhouse, and I remember thinking at the time that this should be put into writing. Well, here it is: http://www.vice.com/read/between-beirut-and-a-hard-place-0000205-v21n1
[Ed. Note: Steve has also written a book which will be arriving soon. I've seen parts of it and it's a great detailed insider's history of the craft beer movement. Stay tuned...]
Until tomorrow, Harry
"People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get." -Frederick Douglass
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