Olly Wehring

Playing swap-sies with Foster's boss

By: Olly Wehring - 5 October 2006 14:34

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Into London yesterday, to meet the Foster’s Group CEO Trevor O’Hoy for the first time.

Despite being quietly-spoken, O’Hoy was certainly not backward at coming forward, and fielded all questions with a straight bat. Most noticeable was his response to my query about whether Foster’s would look to change its name in the future. After all, having sold the rights to the Foster’s beer brand in several markets recently, is the name not a little redundant nowadays?

“The name Foster’s gets us access to people like you (I’m hoping he means journalists) and also to shareholders,” he said. “Foster’s as a name is actually bigger than it really is – it’s very well-known. We see it as a net positive at the moment. You’ve got to have something to hang on to!”

When I asked him what potential names he’d consider, he smiled: “What’s Diageo backwards?”

“Actually, just-drinks is quite an apt name,” he added, glancing at my name badge. “I’ll swap you ‘just-drinks’ for our brewing interests in Vietnam, if you like!”

I would, Trevor, but the commute would probably kill me.

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