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Stolen Rum announces CFO hire


Stolen Rum announces CFO hire.

New Zealand based boutique rum company, Stolen Rum has made its first executive level hire and is pleased to announce Kyle Melnyk will join the Stolen Rum team as CFO in April. Kyle joins Stolen Rum as the company prepares to enter the US market with a new product in May of this year, and with significant growth expected in both the Australian and New Zealand markets. Kyle leaves the Clemenger Group and his role at award-winning advertising agency Colenso BBDO, Auckland after 10 years.

Kyle began a career with Price Waterhouse in Calgary, Canada before leaving his homeland to join its Auckland office in 1995. After a number of years in public service, Kyle embarked on 15 years as a CFO in ‘ad land.’ Kyle has spent the last 10 years with the Omnicom owned Clemenger Group, overseeing a number of their companies in that time but principally as the Colenso BBDO Finance Director in Auckland. Colenso BBDO was recently awarded the #1 creative agency in the world according the globally recognised Won Report. Managing Director, Nick Garrett speaks very fondly of Kyle saying he ‘is bloody awesome, a Colenso legend, a cultural leader, a brilliant CFO and of course an amazing partner to Nick Worthington and I, so naturally he is going to be missed.’

Kyle joins the Stolen Rum team at a key time in the company’s growth. Says Stolen Rum co-founder and CEO Jamie Duff, ‘we are excited to bring Kyle into the Stolen Rum management team. Stolen has been growing rapidly and the company now requires a higher level of governance and financial acumen. We felt it was time to bring in a top level CFO, particularly so given our US launch in April and predicted high-growth in both New Zealand and Australia’. From 2011-2012, Stolen Rum grew 150% and with the company personnel set to double in size and 35,000 cases forecast to sell globally, both this year. ‘Kyle will be instrumental in financial management, funding, and managing the operations side of the business. He brings a creative head too which we think is important in this industry’ says Duff.

Kyle is also looking forward to the move, ‘After 15 years of working in the advertising game, the time is right for me personally to help build something that could be really big. It's an exciting opportunity that I can't wait to get stuck into. I've been a fan and shareholder of Stolen Rum from its humble beginnings,’ he says. ‘Right from the start founders Jamie and Roger felt like good old friends to me, and I have always been impressed by how they've not followed the path similar companies have charted - they've done it their way, and they're bloody smart.’ Kyle has been an active Stolen Rum shareholder since an early fund-raising round. ‘Leaving Colenso, currently awarded the #1 creatively awarded agency in the world, at this time feels amazing - there's no other agency I could imagine working for. They really are the very best, and I'm going to miss them like family. But joining the world of entrepreneurialism is a goal I've always had, so the change feels natural. I can't wait to see where the journey takes us.’

The boys at Colenso agree he’s the man for the job, ‘to be honest we are gutted to see him go professionally, but we are also over the moon for him personally because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and after ten years at Colenso and the Clemenger Group he is ready for a dynamic change’ says Nick Garrett, MD at Colenso BBDO. ‘Our loss is Stolen's gain and good on the cheeky bastards because Kyle will do an amazing job for them and the business, and Nick and I as his friends couldn't be happier for him’ says Garett.

When he’s not deep in rum, Kyle is knee deep in a river somewhere as part of the New Zealand Fly Fishing Team or floating in his boat in the Gulf or at a gig with old Colenso buddy James Hurman.


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