New Belgium Brewing Co. named a new CEO on Monday to lead Colorado’s largest craft beer brewer as it looks for new opportunities to grow and fights off competition from other beer sellers.
Steve Fechheimer is moving to Fort Collins where New Belgium is headquartered and taking over top position of the company in mid-August, the brewery announced. Fechheimer is being lured away from the spirits behemoth Beam Suntory, maker of Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark.
Fechheimer served as Beam Suntory’s chief strategy officer since January 2016 and has been with the company since 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile. His hiring allows New Belgium’s founder and former CEO Kim Jordan to go back to focusing on the brewery’s long-term strategy and vision as executive chair of the brewery’s board of directors.
“Steve is smart and driven while also being approachable, and we’re all excited about the perfect cultural and business fit,” Jordan said in a statement. “His expertise at strategy development and execution in the high-end world of spirits, coupled with our 26 years of solid brewing and branding, is a perfect setup for the kind of dynamic future New Belgium is planning.”
Jordan tried to hand off the reins of day-to-day operations before by filling the CEO role internally with longtime employee Christine Perich. After about a year in the role, Perich announced she was stepping down and has since become CEO of a New York beverage startup with plans to move to Denver.
New Belgium is also eyeing Denver with plans to open a taproom in the Source Hotel. The hotel in RiNo is expected to open later this year.
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