Richard Sands Steps Down as Constellation CEO
Richard Sands recently announced that he would step down as Constellation’s CEO. His younger brother, Robert, will take over the company’s top job. Richard seems optimistic about the move, saying, “It is an appropriate time to pass the CEO baton. Our efforts will be collaborative, yet Rob will lead the company through the next level of growth.” Richard will retain his seat on the board of directors.
Under Richard Sands’ tenure as CEO, Constellation has seen a significant amount of growth through several acquisitions. In 1993, Sands orchestrated the takeover of Barton Inc., the maker of Ten High Bourbon and distributor of Corona. In 1999, Constellation acquired Franciscan Oakville Estate and Simi Winery followed by Ravenswood in 2001. These were proceeded by the purchase of BRL Hardy Ltd. in 2003 and Robert Mondavi Corp. in 2004; both for over $1 billion.
Richard Sands began working for the family business in 1979. He rose through the ranks quickly, becoming executive vice president in 1982, president and chief operating officer in 1986, and CEO in 1993. He has also been chairman of the board since 1999, the year his father passed away.
Robert has been with the company since 1986, originally serving as general counsel. After his promotion was announced, Robert said that he is, “enthusiastic about opportunities ahead of me.”