Amber Beverage Group announces two promotions to support global growth

October 04, 2022

Amber Beverage Group (ABG), the global producer and distributor of such renowned spirits brands as Rooster Rojo Tequila and Moskovskaya Vodka, has announced the reorganisation of its international distribution and owned route-to-market business with the promotion of two senior executives.

Vangelis Smyrlis has been promoted to the new role of Chief Global Sales Officer, heading up the Group’s global distribution business, and Guenther Rauner has been promoted to the new role of Commercial Excellence Director Owned Route-To-Market (ORTM) and will oversee ABG’s own distribution companies. Both become members of the Amber Beverage Group Executive Committee Team reporting to the Group CEO, Jekaterina Stuģe.

Pictured (left) Vangelis Smyrlis and (right) Guenther Rauner.

Vangelis Smyrlis, the current Managing Director of EMEIA & GTR, becomes Chief Global Sales Officer with immediate effect. In addition, from the beginning of 2023, he will lead the Group’s commercial activities in Asia; and from 2024, he will manage activities in the Americas.

Jekaterina Stuģe, the CEO of Amber Beverage Group, said: “Since joining ABG, Vangelis has been eager to introduce improvements, based on fact-based analysis, and he has led his team to grow the business successfully. I am truly impressed by what Vangelis can bring to our Group – measurable results and disciplined strategic thinking, focusing on the choices to be made to achieve long-term success. I feel that this promotion comes at just the right time and will put us on the right path to succeed in global markets.”

Vangelis Smyrlis said on the promotion: “I am thrilled by this recognition and must stress that the results to date are thanks to the support of my direct team, my cross-functional colleagues, and our partners. I count on this continuous support to make further progress towards our aspirations and together to strengthen ABG’s position in our industry.”

Guenther Rauner, currently Managing Director of Amber Beverage Germany, will be working with the national teams to lead the implementation of Excellent Distribution Standards in ABG’s own route-to-market businesses, and concentrate on enriching the company’s route-to-market brand portfolios. As Commercial Excellence Director, he will oversee the Group’s distribution companies, he will be working with existing brand owners and partnering with new brands, as well as have the responsibility for ABG’s global ORTM expansion.

Guenther Rauner said: “This is a major milestone on our journey to becoming a truly global company and I am proud to be part of this initiative which will support our ambitions and strategy. Our worldwide companies have done an outstanding job in becoming leading distributors in their respective markets. Sharing the same values, distribution, as well as executional principles, will help build a joint platform to ensure that our represented brands can deliver the best experience for our customers and consumers worldwide.”

Jekaterina Stuģe said: “I was thrilled to see how Guenther promptly delivered on a number of key initiatives by establishing the business in Germany and starting building ABG’s brands in Germany. He is highly motivated to deliver results and to evolve the wider commercial strategy. I am confident that with his entrepreneurial approach and solutions-oriented mindset he will bring our ORTM performance to the next level and will offer a great advantage to our newly acquired companies.

“I am thankful to both colleagues for all their contributions to our growth so far. I am thrilled that Vangelis and Guenther have accepted their new positions and believe that they will each make a major contribution to our results and commercial strategy.”

Amber Beverage Group is a rapidly growing global spirits company, whose products are found in millions of households and venues across the globe. ABG signature brands are Moskovskaya® Vodka, Rooster Rojo® Tequila, KAH® Tequila, The Irishman® Whiskey, Writers’ Tears® Whiskey, Riga Black Balsam®, Cross Keys Gin® and Cosmopolitan Diva®. ABG produces, bottles, markets, distributes, exports, and retails a comprehensive range of beverages of which it owns more than 100 and is responsible for marketing and distributing 1,300 third-party drinks brands.

The company has grown from its original core production business in the pan-Baltic region established in 1900, to a global spirits industry player that unites around 2,000 employees in Austria, Australia, the Baltic States, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and more.

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