LCBO ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF DR. GEORGE SOLEAS AS NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO
June 9, 2016
(Toronto) -- LCBO Chair Edward Waitzer today announced the appointment of Dr. George Soleas M.Sc., PhD, to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the LCBO.
“Dr. Soleas has successfully led many aspects of LCBO’s operations and built strong working relationships with suppliers and other key stakeholders. At a time when LCBO faces significant opportunities and challenges, he brings in-depth knowledge of the sector and organization, and a proven record of innovation, teamwork and public service,” says Waitzer.
In 1997, after spending more than a decade working in the Ontario wine industry, George joined the LCBO as Director of Quality Assurance. Under his leadership the department was transformed into a state-of-the-art, profitable and internationally-endorsed laboratory facility. This success led to the expansion of his portfolio in 2008 to include Logistics, where he implemented a series of changes to improve the efficiency and safety of Specialty Services and LCBO retail distribution centres. This included championing the development of LCBO’s patent-pending automatic palletizer technology, which has won domestic and international awards.
In 2013, George was promoted to Executive Vice President, assuming responsibility for Information Technology, Store Development & Real Estate, and Resource Protection.
“LCBO is entering a more competitive marketplace and needs someone with both experience and passion to continue to fulfil its mandate as a profitable, customer-focused and socially responsible retailer. Given the depth of his involvement in the beverage alcohol industry, both inside and outside the LCBO, George is well positioned to guide the organization as it continues to evolve to meet the needs of the marketplace and serve its customers,” Waitzer added.
“I am confident that, with George’s distinguished expertise and intimate knowledge of the beverage alcohol sector, the LCBO will remain an innovative retailer that continues to demonstrate its ability to keep pace and lead changes in the retailing landscape in the province, across Canada and internationally. Under George’s leadership and vision, the LCBO will undoubtedly grow its business in a responsible manner, providing the knowledgeable and helpful experience that customers have come to expect while contributing revenues that help fund important social services Ontarians rely on like health care and education.”
Honourable Charles Sousa, Ontario Minister of Finance
“Having dealt with George for many years, I am certain that under his leadership the LCBO will continue to support spirits produced across Canada and around the world. The spirits segment is attracting increasing consumer interest, and we’re looking forward to working with George and his team to find opportunities to continue to build awareness of the spirits industry and generate growth in sales and jobs.”
Jan Westcott, President and Chief Executive Officer Spirits Canada
“George has deep roots in the Ontario wine industry and a passionate and in-depth understanding of it. He has helped the industry evolve and grow and knows what it needs to do in partnership with LCBO to go from strength to strength in an increasingly competitive marketplace. While George is a champion for local products, he also brings a valuable global perspective to the business. We look forward to working with George and the LCBO employees to grow sales and create an exceptional shopping experience for our customers.”
Jay Wright, President Constellation Wine and Spirits
“George is known throughout the supplier and agent community as being a true partner. In Quality Assurance, Logistics and as EVP, he has significantly improved operational efficiency while ensuring a fair process for all. This professionalism earned him the Drinks Ontario Partnership Award in 2008. In his various roles with the LCBO he has earned a well-deserved reputation for working collaboratively to take advantage of opportunities and resolve issues quickly to improve the customer experience. With the changing landscape in the beverage alcohol industry, we look forward to continuing to work with George and the LCBO team.”
Chris Churchill, President Drinks Ontario
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