Dan Murphy’s appoints new Managing Director

17 May, 2019 by Andy Young

Endeavour Drinks Group (EDG) has appointed a new Managing Director of Dan Murphy’s, with Alex Freudmann set to join from his current role as Director, Fresh Foods at Coles.

Freudmann has been at Coles for almost 10 years and previously worked with Tesco in the UK. He will report to EDG’s Managing Director Steve Donohue.

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Donohue said: “The team at Dan Murphy’s has been working hard at re-establishing sales momentum while also strengthening key foundational areas to better serve changing customer needs.

“The business has a long history of success with strong customer loyalty, however rapid market changes require us to transform Dan Murphy’s for sustainable long-term growth.

“We are pleased to have Alex joining us at this exciting time for our business. Alex has expertise in leading initiatives that have delivered significant improvement in customer experience and has a proven track record for responding to market disruption and changing customer preferences.

“Alex will be responsible for driving forward the Dan Murphy’s strategy in line with Endeavour Drinks’ broader ambition to connect everyone with a drinks experience they’ll love.”

A start date for Alex will be communicated in due course and until that time Faye Ilhan will continue her interim leadership of the Dan Murphy’s team.

Donohue added: “In a short space of time, Faye has helped the business focus at pace on key priorities to progress the Dan Murphy’s transformation. We have also benefited from her prior knowledge of the Dan Murphy’s business and her expertise in digital innovation from the wider Woolworths Group.”

One of the key priorities for Freudmann will be that transformation of the Dan Murphy’s business. Speaking earlier this year at the Woolworths half-yearly results presentation, group CEO, Brad Banducci said Dan Murphy’s needs to reposition the business and innovate in order to keep up with consumer needs.

“The real issue in the drinks business is the consumer is changing very quickly and we need to innovate our business to keep up with their changing needs,” Banducci said.

“That is the real challenge; it’s the challenge for Dan Murphy’s going forward and it’s still a much-loved brand in Australia, it is our highest value brand in terms of consumer resonance, but in all parts of our drinks business we need to innovate.

“The key forms of innovation for our customers are continuing fragmentation of categories and consumer moves to lighter, styles and accessibility is key. Then critically important in this category, perhaps even more important than food, is the whole topic of convenience and people wanting it now. It is a relatively particularly bulky good to take to the home so it does fit particularly well with some form of delivery, whether on-demand or traditional home delivery.”