Villa Maria appoints new CEO
Villa Maria has appointed Abe Salt as Chief Executive Officer, a position occupied by founder Sir George Fistonich for 55 years. All staff who previously reported to Sir George will now report to Salt, who will report to Sir George. The changeover takes place on March 5, 2018.
“Due to Villa Maria’s success as a major player globally, my ambassador role has become extremely time-consuming”, said Sir George Fistonich. “As the CEO, Abe will be able to manage the important day to day operations and strategic priorities for the company. This will allow me to concentrate on my global brand ambassadorial role and drive other large projects such as the development of our new winery and retail centre in Hawkes Bay.”
Salt is an avid wine enthusiast and is passionate about the wine industry.
He has 15 years experience across the wine industry, investment banking and strategic advisory. Most recently, Salt was Principal at Iron Gate Consulting where he focused on providing strategic advice to the wine industry. Prior to Iron Gate Consulting, he spent more than five years at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) where he was Global Head of Strategy.
During his time at TWE, Salt led significant transactions and implemented key strategic changes for the business. He served on the Steering Committee for TWE’s global supply chain optimisation program, driving route to market changes in key regions. He led TWE’s acquisition of its Matua Marlborough winery. Salt holds degrees in Law and Commerce and post-graduate qualifications in finance. He is married with two children and will relocate from Melbourne to Auckland for the role.