Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits (Southern Glazer’s), the world’s preeminent distributor of beverage alcohol, announced the retirement of John Klein, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Pacific Northwest, effective at the end of 2023.
“John is leaving behind an impactful 13-year legacy at Southern Glazer’s,” said John Wittig, Chief Commercial Officer, Southern Glazer’s. “His extensive expertise and exceptional interpersonal abilities have played a pivotal role in establishing the Company’s success in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We’ll miss his presence on this team and will forever hold gratitude for the indelible mark he made in building out our Southern Glazer’s footprint in the Pacific Northwest.”
“John was a great leader in many respects, including being at the forefront of driving diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the Pacific Northwest,” added Patrick Daul, President, West Region for Southern Glazer’s. “His ability to nurture talent resulted in many current esteemed leaders emerging from the markets that he managed, so I’m confident his legacy will continue to influence the future success of Southern Glazer’s.”
35 Years in the Beverage Alcohol Industry
Klein has spent 35 years in the beverage alcohol industry, beginning his career in a sales role at Pepsi-Cola in New York before working in various sales and management positions at Heublein, now Diageo, from 1988 to 1994. Prior to beginning his career at Southern Wine & Spirits in November 2010, Klein served as President of Young’s Market Company. Here, Klein spent 15 years in various executive management positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately serving as the President.
During that period, Klein spent a considerable amount of time in the Pacific Northwest responsible for integrating joint ventures and acquiring wholesaler and brokerage operations, expanding the company from three to 10 states. In addition to this current role at Southern Glazer’s, Klein serves as President and board member for the Association of Wine & Spirits Distributors, Washington and is a member of the Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to John for his years of dedication to our Company and professionalism in the way he conducted himself everyday,” commented Wayne E. Chaplin, Chief Executive Officer, Southern Glazer’s. “We wish him a retirement filled with joy, fulfillment, and continued success in all his future endeavors.”
An announcement for John Klein’s replacement will be forthcoming. Klein will remain on the team to ensure a seamless transition and support the leader who will be succeeding him.