USA: Rob Sands steps down as CEO of Constellation Brands

Rob Sands, CEO of Constellation Brands and one of the sons of founder Marvin Sands, is stepping down as head of the company on March 1, after serving 11 years in this function. Rob Sands will succeed his brother Richard Sands in his role as executive chairman. Richard Sands, who also worked before as CEO of Constellation Brands, will become executive vice chairman.

Bill Newlands, since February president and COO of the Constellation Brands, will assume the role of president and chief executive officer (CEO) starting from March 1, 2019. Newlands joined Constellation Brands in 2015 as executive vice president and  chief growth officer. In 2016, his role expanded to include leadership of the company's Wine & Spirits Division, and in 2017 he became the company's COO before taking over the role as president of the company from Rob Sands eight months ago. (, 14.02.2018)

“Since joining Constellation Brands in 2015, Bill has made a significant impact on our company, finding ways to leverage our unique capabilities as a leading total beverage alcohol provider to meet consumers’ evolving needs and accelerate growth,” said Constellation Brands’ CEO Rob Sands in a press statement. “Bill understands what it takes to succeed in this rapidly evolving market and he’s the right person to lead our company going forward.”

“I am honored to be selected as Constellation Brands’ next CEO,” said Newlands. “I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the leadership Rob, Richard and Marvin Sands provided over the years. I look forward to working with Rob, Richard, our Board of Directors, and the Constellation Brands team to ensure we continue building on the momentum our company has gained in the marketplace for many years to come.”

Constellation Brands was founded in 1945 by Marvin Sands as Canandaigua Industries, selling bulk wine to bottlers in the eastern United States. In 1973 the company went public. In 2000, Canandaigua Wine Company changed its name to Constellation Brands to reflect the scope of the company and its range of brands. In 2007, Rob Sands, one of the sons of the founder, was named president and CEO. He managed to acquire GrupoModelo's U.S. beer business from AB InBev in 2013, following a request by US antitrust authorities after AB InBev’s purchase of the remaining 50% stake in Mexican brewer Modelo in 2012. The deal, worth $5.3 billion included Grupo Modelo’s U.S. distribution rights for Corona and other Mexican beer brands as well as the brewery Compañía Cervecera de Coahuila in Piedras Negras/Nava in Mexico, which is said to be the largest brewing site in the world. In 2016 Constellation Brands bought for $600 million additionally Grupo Modelo’s brewery in Obregón/Mexico, where large amounts of the Constellation Brands’ US beer is being produced (, 1.11.2016).

From its beginnings 72 years ago, Constellation Brands has become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio, about 40 wineries, breweries and distilleries, and approximately 10,000 employees. In the beer market, the company is mainly known for importing Mexican beer brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico.

Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500® company, is also a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Canada.

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