San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. announced today that co-founder Greg Koch will be promoted (with the blessing from his business partner, of course) from CEO and transition into a new role as Executive Chairman. The incoming CEO is expected to lead day-to-day operations and initiatives. Ultimately, once this future candidate is selected and the onboarding process is complete, Koch will focus on long-term and higher-level strategic planning for the company.
Koch has served as CEO for the past 19 years. Since starting the company with President, co-founder and original brewmaster Steve Wagner in 1996, Stone has become one of the fastest-growing and highest-rated breweries in the world, thanks to dedicated fans and Koch and Wagner’s commitment to brewing amazing craft beer. The ninth largest craft beer company in the United States now employs more than 1,100 employees and operates multiple locations in Southern California, including two Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurants. In July 2014, it was announced that Stone would become the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe.
“This is a natural progression once companies reach our size and complexity,” explains Koch. “I see this as an opportunity to focus on future direction and projects for Stone Brewing. Most importantly, we are looking for someone who can contribute to our executive team and understands our vision for craft beer.”
Koch will continue working closely to complete the development of Stone Brewing Berlin and oversee the company’s expansion into Richmond, VA. There is no set timeframe or expected hire date for an incoming CEO. The priority is to find an individual with the necessary skillset, passion for Stone and all things craft beer, and one who can support the efforts to provide high-quality craft beer worldwide.
“The ‘co-founder’ part of my title won’t change…that will never change,” says Koch. “I get to keep that one for life, with all the beer privileges of course!”