MGP Ingredients CEO Gus Griffin leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about six years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Griffin
  • Dave Colo taking over
  • Griffin said 71 words

(exechange) — Atchison, Kansas, February 11, 2020 — Gus Griffin, chief executive of MGP Ingredients, leaves. As announced by MGP Ingredients Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, Augustus C. (Gus) Griffin leaves his post as chief executive officer at the distilleries company after about six years in the role, effective May 21, 2020.

Gus Griffin’s duties as CEO will be taken over by David J. (Dave) Colo, a former Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta, Inc.

Already a director

Colo is already a director of MGP Ingredients. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. On the other hand, directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Colo understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of MGP Ingredients’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

“Orderly succession”

Gus Griffin’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. MGP Ingredients said: “Griffin’s retirement timeline is consistent with the fixed term set out in his 2017 employment agreement, which permitted the Board to plan for an orderly succession.”

Precise information regarding Gus Griffin’s future plans was not immediately available.


MGP Ingredients said: “MGP Ingredients, Inc. (Nasdaq:MGPI), a leading supplier of premium distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches, announced today Chief Executive Officer Gus Griffin’s plans to retire from the Company and its Board at the Company’s annual meeting of stockholders on May 21, 2020.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in MGP Ingredients Inc.’s share price of 57% since March 2019.

Chaired by Karen Seaberg

MGP Ingredients Inc. is chaired by Karen Seaberg.

Karen Seaberg has been Chairman of the Board since December 2014 and a Board member since 2009.

In the position of CEO since 2014

Gus Griffin became CEO of the Company in 2014.

Griffin has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since July 2014.

Immediately prior to joining MGP, he served as Executive Vice President of Marketing for Next Level Spirits, a northern California-based producer, importer, and distributor of premium wine and spirits brands.

Between November 2011 and March 2013, Griffin served as brand and business consultant for Nelson’s Green Brier, Tennessee.

He served for 24 years with Brown-Forman Corporation in increasingly important brand management and general management roles, where he ultimately became Senior Vice President and Global Managing Director in charge of the company’s flagship Jack Daniel’s business in 2008.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to MGP Ingredients and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 7.2020 ($).