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Job losss at Constellation

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Brands is streamlining' its UK operations, primarily through personnel reductions', and it has also announced the retirement of the chief executive of Constellation Wines, Stephen Millar (right).
Constellation Europe, based in Esher, Surrey, was unable to give further details of the extent of the planned job losses or whether Matthew Clark, its UK on-trade and wholesale arm are also included.

Constellation Brands chairman and chief executive Richard Sands said that the retirement of Millar, who was the chief executive of BRL Hardy prior to its being bought by Constellation in 2003, meant it was the opportune time' to reorganise, and Stephen Millar's position will not refilled. The respective heads of its global wine businesses - Constellation Wines US, Constellation Europe, Australia's Hardy Wine Company, New Zealand's Nobilo Wine Group and Constellation Wines International - will now report directly to Sands. Although our world-wines infrastructure will be simplified to be flatter and more flexible, it will continue to play a vital role supporting our wine businesses around the world,' Sands said.

Last month Constellation announced that its previously quasi-autonomous US fine-wine arm Icon Estates would report directly to Constellation Wines US. At the beginning of the year, Constellation's UK fine-wine arm Cellar Door was brought under the control of Constellation's UK sales director, with the departure of Cellar Door's managing director Marina Gayan MW.

The departure of Stephen Millar comes hot on the heels of Christopher Carson's retirement from his position as CEO at Constellation Europe (although he remains the company's chairman). The pair effectively ran Hardy's before Constellation's takeover, with Carson acting as head of its European operations prior to joining Constellation.

Sands added that he expects a net sales growth of 6-8% in 2007 - approximately double that of the industry'.