Since 1982 Krister Asplund has been in charge of every drop of Absolut Vodka around the world, all crafted in the village of Åhus, southern Sweden. On July 1, Anna Schreil, director, product development & realisation and R&D at Absolut Vodka, will succeed him as the new VP operations.
Few people are as closely connected with the success of Absolut Vodka as Asplund. Under his leadership, the number of employees in production has increased from just over 60 to 300, and the volumes have increased to nearly 400 000 litres a day. Staying true to the brand’s One Source, One Community and One Superb Vodka philosophy, Asplund prides himself on having grown the production in a sustainable way within the community and the local environment.
“To take on the responsibility for Absolut Vodka is an honour. I have great respect for Krister’s work and it feels both rewarding and exciting to take over. Krister has managed to increase production without doing it at the expense of the employees or environment. These are responsibilities that are close to my heart and it is a job that I want to continue,” says Schreil.
Krister Asplund will focus on his role as master distiller for Absolut Elyx and will continue his engagement in developing the local community.
“To leave my job, the best job in the world, was not an easy decision. In Åhus, we have employees with a great sense of commitment and extensive knowledge. Over the years I have worked together with Anna, she has shown that she has the skills and the deep understanding for the employees, the community, our partners and the brand. I know that Anna is the right person to continue to lead the team,” says Krister Asplund.
“Anna Schreil has an extensive knowledge when it comes to production, product development and supply chain management. During her four years at The Absolut Company, she has successfully developed innovations and eco-design initiatives. The fact that Anna is stepping into this role is good for the brand's continued development. We have found the best successor to Krister Asplund, who has been an outstanding leader for over thirty years,” says Paul Duffy, CEO of The Absolut Company.
Anna Schreil has several years of experience in production and product development. She has been the plant manager at GB Glace factory in Flen. She has also worked as production manager at Unilever, and as head of product developmentat Unilever and Atria. Over the past four years she has been the director of product development and realisation and R&D at The Absolut Company.
The Absolut Company has the worldwide responsibility for the production, innovation and strategic marketing of Absolut Vodka, Malibu, Kahlúa, Wyborowa, Luksusowa och Frïs. Absolut Vodka is the world’s fourth largest premium spirits brand. Every bottle of Absolut Vodka is produced in Åhus, southern Sweden. Malibu is the number one rum-based coconut spirit in the world, sold in more than 150 countries. Kahlúa coffee liqueur is the world leader in its category. The head office is located in Stockholm, Sweden. The Absolut Company is a part of Pernod Ricard, which holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector.
30 June 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor