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Management changes at SPI Group

SPI Group has promoted Rob Cullins to the position of CEO of Stoli Group and John Esposito to the Board of Stoli Group.

Val Mendeleev, CEO of Stoli’s parent company SPI Group, explains: “From the time I joined our company in August 2008 as SPI Group CEO and Stoli Group CEO, we have made a huge progress in developing and expanding Stoli as a premium, international vodka business. Since we left Pernod Ricard as a global Stoli distributor, we have established a new sales and brand management structure, new distributor relationships in nearly 180 markets, and more recently set up our own distribution business in the US.  

“In this journey, I was supported by Rob Cullins, who since joining Stoli Group as international commercial director in August 2011, has further spear-headed Stoli's global reach. 

“Also, in the US, John Esposito, who joined Stoli Group USA in January 2013 as its first president, built the team and sales infrastructure, preparing the company for future growth. 

“As the Group is now well positioned to benefit from further expansion, we are considering acquisitions of new spirits and wine brands, and entry into new categories.  

“To facilitate further organic and corporate development of our group, we aim to improve the division of strategic and operational activities of our top management. »

Therefore, SPI announced the following changes:

Rob Cullins is promoted to the position of CEO of Stoli Group, which will encompass Stoli's global sales, marketing and logistics operations. Rob will continue to be based in Luxembourg. 

Val Mendeleev will continue to oversee Stoli as chairman of board of directors of Stoli Group, and also deal with strategic and M&A aspects of the business.  The Board will also include a new SPI Group CFO Rene Lek and SPI Group chief legal officer Ron Surbey. Also joining the Stoli Group Board will be John Esposito (based in the New York office). 

In the US, a new president of Stoli Group USA will soon be recruited, who will report to Stoli Group CEO Rob Cullins.  Stoli Group USA activities will also be assisted and supervised by John Esposito in his new capacity as Chairman of Stoli Group USA. 

23 February 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor