Breakthru Beverage President and CEO Announces Retirement

Breakthru Beverage Group has announced that President and CEO Greg Baird plans to retire from the company at the end of the year.

The Board of Managers is engaged in an active search process to identify Breakthru’s next CEO as part of the company’s succession planning process and ongoing transformation. The search will consider internal and external candidates.

As part of the transition, Baird remains fully engaged as president and CEO until his successor is in place, the company says, and will serve as an advisor to the company for a period thereafter.

“It has been an incredible honor to lead Breakthru Beverage through a transformational five years. Together with our entire team, we have built an industry leader that consistently delivers excellence to our supplier and customer partners and other stakeholders,” says Baird. “Our team’s passion and expertise are the true reason for our success and I’m confident that Breakthru, supported by our outstanding and deeply committed leadership team, is well-positioned for growth long into the future. I have worked with our ownership and Board to prepare for a thoughtful transition and will be proud to hand the reins to a new CEO who will take the company through its next phase of success.”

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After serving in various senior leadership roles at Charmer Sunbelt Group, Baird became president and CEO of Breakthru in January 2016, following the merger of Charmer Sunbelt Group and Wirtz Beverage. The combination brought together two family-owned companies, both with storied histories and shared values, with a vision of becoming the leading beverage company in North America.

During Baird’s tenure, Breakthru Beverage Group has become a North American leader in total beverage alcohol, with a presence in 14 U.S. markets and all of Canada, with 6,500 associates and $6 billion in annual sales.

“Greg is truly a great leader and has been a dear friend to me and our entire team,” says Charles Merinoff, co-chairman of the Board of Managers. “Since becoming CEO, he has not only led the successful evolution of the company, but he also brought us together as one Breakthru family. While we will miss his energetic spirit, compassion and dedication, we continue to look towards a tremendous future for Breakthru.”

Adds W. Rockwell Wirtz, co-chairman of the Board of Managers, “We are grateful for Greg’s vision and remarkable leadership. Among his many achievements and contributions, Greg led the integration of Charmer Sunbelt Group and Wirtz Beverage to create Breakthru Beverage Group. He spearheaded and launched Breakthru’s corporate strategy, which underscores the company’s commitment to bold strategic initiatives and driving long-term growth and performance for the business and its stakeholders. He also drove Breakthru’s expansion into new frontiers as exemplified by the launch of Kindred in Canada. Under his leadership, Breakthru successfully completed a number of mergers and acquisitions, gained significant market share and new supplier relationships and is transforming its digital and e-commerce strategy.”

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