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Charlie's gets the Cotton touch

Charlie's gets the Cotton touch
New Zealander Craig Cotton has been named CEO of Charlie’s after co-founder Stefan Lepionka announced his resignation in June.
craig cotton charlie's ceo

New Zealander Craig Cotton has been named CEO of Charlie’s after co-founder Stefan Lepionka announced his resignation in June.

The company hails his appointment as an injection of "big-brand thinking" as he comes from a 17-year career with Coca-Cola Amatil NZ, most recently as national sales manager, non-grocery.

Cotton, 38, has a degree in agricultural economics and a track record in sales and marketing.
 
“It’s an exciting time to be joining Charlie’s,” Cotton said.
 
“Not many New Zealand companies enjoy the opportunities we do. We have local and offshore manufacturing facilities, the best brands in our categories and are now owned by Asahi who are keen to invest for growth”.


Lepionka sold Charlie's to Japanese beverage giant Asahi for $129 million last year and has stepped down from its helm after seeing the ownership transition through. He is staying on as a member of the board, however. 

Cotton reiterated the New Zealand connection to Charlie's in a statement yesterday.

“We will continue to keep the business deeply rooted in its ‘Kiwi-ness’. Charlie’s was born in New Zealand and is managed and run from here. That is important to us and we will not be turning our backs on our heritage.”