SINGAPORE, 2 March 2021 – After safely navigating a challenging 2020, Proof & Company is preparing for a return to growth in 2021 by welcoming a new CEO and bolstering its leadership team.

On 1 April, and following a 12-month search led by co-founders Paul Gabie and Spencer Forhart with support from the company’s board of directors, Gabie will hand CEO responsibilities to Paul Broadbent. Gabie and Forhart will remain as a Directors, providing oversight and support to the new CEO and leadership team. Broadbent currently serves as Proof & Company’s General Manager, Australia & New Zealand. This CEO transition is the first in Proof & Company’s nine-year history and comes at a time when the outlook for independent spirits in Asia Pacific is brighter than ever.

Since joining Proof & Company in 2018, Broadbent has led a chapter of transformational growth in the company’s Australia and New Zealand markets. Over this three-year period, Proof & Company’s business in the Australasia region has grown six-fold, driven by expanded presence in national retail, excellent performance in the on-trade channel, and the acquisition and growth of leading independent brands to the company’s Australasia portfolio, including Diplomático Rum, Never Never Distilling Co. and Sullivans Cove Whisky.

Prior to joining Proof & Company, Broadbent spent 14 years with Bacardi-Martini Australia where he undertook a variety of roles across global travel retail, national on trade, national accounts and the brand ambassador program. Over his career, Broadbent has held senior roles in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and will now relocate to Singapore to take on the CEO role with Proof & Company.

“Being part of such a progressive and dynamic drinks company over the past three years has been truly exhilarating.  We have a fantastic brand portfolio anchored by great partners. When you couple this with talented and passionate people across our teams, the future is bright,” says Broadbent, “Taking over from a successful founder is always a significant task and I want to thank Paul for handing over the business in such a strong position.”

In April, Gabie will shift his day-to-day focus to the global expansion of ecoSPIRITS, a technology spinout from Proof & Company that has developed the world’s first closed loop distribution technology for premium spirits. ecoSPIRITS works with local partners worldwide, including Proof & Company, to reduce the delivered cost and carbon footprint of spirits.

“Serving as CEO of Proof & Company has been the highlight of my career. Over the past five years, we have entered the Australia and China markets, grown by more than 500%, and developed a team of spirits professionals that is amongst the most committed and able in the business,” notes Gabie. “Proof & Company has a strong leadership team, talented market teams across the region, and some of the best brand partners we could ask for. Having worked together closely now for three years, I have every confidence that Paul Broadbent is the right leader for our next chapter.”

As part of this transition, Elaine Hardiman will take on an expanded Group CFO role, working closely alongside Broadbent in leading Proof & Company. Since joining Proof & Company in early 2018 from Ralph Lauren Asia Pacific, Hardiman has successfully steered the group through both the challenges of rapid growth and the COVID-19 pandemic. In her expanded role, she will take on broader oversight of the group’s financial and administrative functions across the entire region.

“During my time with Proof & Company, we have been on a transformative journey, not just one of rapid growth but also in upgrading our processes and systems,” notes Hardiman. “I am excited to be partnering with Paul Broadbent to help lead the next chapter of our development across the region. Paul and I are confident that our skill sets complement each other well as we take on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

To further strengthen Proof & Company’s Australasia business, Damian Kaehler will succeed Broadbent as Proof & Company’s General Manager, Australia and New Zealand in April. Kaehler joins from SouthTrade International, where he was Sales Director of Australia’s fastest growing spirits supplier. The move reunites Broadbent and Kaehler, who previously worked together from 2009 through 2018. More details regarding Kaehler’s appointment at Proof & Company will be released in early April.