Third CEO in four years under Kedma more »

The CEO of Carmel Winery, Erez Paz, has resigned after less than two years in charge. Gilead Halevi, the chairman, accepted his resignation. Since Kedma Capital and an international consortium purchased Carmel in 2013 from Agudat Hacormim, the grape growers cooperative, their market share has plummeted, sales have crashed and there have been no less than three CEO's in four years. The previous CEO's appointed by Halevy were Daliya Mandelman, who came from Strauss Coffee, Ran David, from Marina (mushrooms) and Erez Paz from Strauss Dairies. Neither of them appeared to understand the wine market, or to make the effort to understand the wine trade, and all departed with Carmel considerably more diminished than when they took over.

Since January, Carmel's marketing manager, the two senior sales managers and export manager have all left. Now they are joined by their CEO. Halevy will now have to appoint a fourth CEO, and the task to revive the company is certainly more difficult than when they took over.

Carmel is no longer Israel's largest winery, a position it held for 125 years. The chaos is reminiscent of the early 1980's when Carmel Mizrahi, then the name of the winery, also appointed four CEO's in four years. Then the winery nearly crashed, bringing Israel's wine industry with it.

Today Carmel's market share is considerably smaller and competitors stronger, so the effect is less drastic. However as Carmel is Israel's oldest commercial winery, founded by the Rothschilds in 1882, it is an important symbol in Israel. Israeli wine needs a successful Carmel. It is a tragedy that this most historic winery has fallen on such bad times. A series of poor appointments and bad management is a main reason.

Carmel's main winery is at Zichron Ya'acov and they have a newish bottling facility at Alon Tavor. The winery owns big brands like Private Collection, Selected, Carmel Tirosh and King David. The prestige wines are Carmel Limited Edition, Carmel Mediterranean and their single vineyard wines. It also owns Yatir Winery.

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