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AUSTRALIA: Southcorp CEO, Graham Kraehe to stand down

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Graham Kraehe, CEO of Australian wine, packaging and heating giant Southcorp, has decided to stand down once the sale of the company's packaging division is complete. Tom Park, CEO of Southcorp Wines has been named as his successor.Although Kraehe's decision to quit has come as no surprise, it has come earlier than many industry followers expected. He has been CEO for six years.His decision to depart, once the sale of the packaging division is in place, has prompted rumours that a deal is only a few weeks away, and Southcorp's share price jumped to A$5.00 from A$4.86 on the news.However, just-drinks has been told that the review of the packaging division will not be complete until the end of the year. Furthermore, Kraehe will not leave until the chosen strategy has been implemented. This will probably mean he will stand down sometime close to the end of the company's financial year in June.Park, formerly of Kraft Foods, has only been with Southcorp since March. However, in this time it is believed he has already completed a strategic review of Southcorp's strategy and concluded that its wine labels should be reduced from 1000 to around 800.Park's international brand management experience was considered ideal to grow profits from Southcorp's brands, including Penfold's and Lindeman's, Southcorp chairman Rick Allert said.


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