Mighty Craft gains MD, loses Chair
Mighty Craft shareholders have voted against the re-election of Board Chair Chris Malcolm at the company’s Annual General meeting, with Malcom’s last act being the appointment of Katie McNamara as Managing Director.
Malcolm, who in August launched an extraordinary tirade against the company’s previous Board and the strategy the company was founded on, was only able to secure the votes of 47 percent of shareholders for re-election, while fellow board members Sean Ebert and Katie McNamara were re-elected with 76 percent and 72 percent respectively.
In a statement to the ASX the company noted the results saying that Ebert and McNamara “are currently evaluating options to appoint an appropriate additional Director to fill the casual vacancy.”
Prior to the Annual General Meeting, the company had announced that McNamara had been appointed as Managing Director until June next year at a monthly salary of $32,375 per month.
McNamara joined the Board in April, just prior to the company’s strategic review. She was appointed at the same time as industry veteran Trevor O’Hoy, who then announced in August he was resigning from the Board, saying he couldn’t commit the time required to the company.
In a statement announcing McNamara’s appointment, now-former Chair Chris Malcolm said he was looking forward to working closely with her.
“Having now worked closely with Katie McNamara for some time, I am confident in Katie’s commercial acumen, experienced skills and leadership ability will benefit the company, staff, shareholders and partners. I am looking forward to working closely with Katie on the next phase of the Mighty Craft’s business growth,” he said.
McNamara replaces Acting CEO Jess Lyons who was appointed in June.
The Annual General Meeting came as the one-time craft accelerator finally succeeded in securing the sale of one of its brewing assets, with former Carlton & United Breweries CEO Peter Filipovic leading a consortium to buy Jetty Road Brewery for a reported $3 million.
Filipovic leads a consortium that includes comedian Mick Malloy and publican Richie Ludbrook from the Riverland Group.
Two of the original founders and brewers, Blake Bowden and Grant Rodgers, have been described as ambassadors. Bowden and Rogers launched Jetty Road Brewery before it was purchased by Mighty Craft in 2021, when they subsequently left the businesses.
Discussing Mighty Craft’s planned divestment of Jetty Road in July this year, Bowden told Brews News it was an exciting prospect for the brand.
“I’m hoping someone that really loves it buys it,” he said. “Because we are still really close with the remaining team there, the brewery staff are all still the same lads that I put together in the early days.”
“So I’m really hoping that they actually get an owner that let’s them sink their teeth into it and is a positive for the brand to start growing again, because it really stagnated over the last couple of years.”
Bowden was critical of the executive-heavy Mighty Craft strategy that sought to push brands like Jetty Road into the national marketplace without the marketing and brand support needed to success.
“We wanted to kind of grow in five kilometre increments,” he explained. “But we were talked into national ranging, which we just didn’t have a marketing budget to substantiate.”
“I think that just hurt us more than anything in the state.”
The Annual General Meeting was told that the company was targeting a further $25 – $45 million in assets ales, with either its ailing spirits portfolio or Better Beer on the auction block. The company said that $6 million in divestments was expected to settle in the second quarter of the current financial year.
Yesterday the company’s share price fell to $0.01, down from $0.15 when McNamara joined the Board and $0.11 when the company announced its strategic review.