Founders Brewing Co. appoints new CEO

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Elton Knight. Courtesy Founders Brewing Co.

The parent company of Founders Brewing Co. selected the person who will replace co-founder and former CEO Mike Stevens.

The Spanish majority owner of Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co., the Mahou-San Miguel Group, said Tuesday, Feb. 1, it appointed Elton Andres Knight as CEO of Founders, effective immediately.

Knight replaces Mike Stevens, who said last month he would step down as CEO and transition to the role of board member.

Mahou described Knight as “an energetic business leader who brings a wealth of leadership experience and a passion for craft beer with more than 15 years in the beverage industry.”

He has worked for Mahou since 2014 and assumed the role of CEO for Mahou subsidiary Avery Brewing Company in 2019. Knight will continue in his role as CEO for Avery Brewing while also leading Founders.

Knight earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Thames Valley University in London and obtained his Master of Arts degree in marketing and commercial direction at Instituto de Empresa in Madrid.

“I could not be more grateful to accept the position as CEO (of) this well-established and well-loved brewery,” Knight said. “Founders employs an extremely talented team and has a long history of impressive innovation within the craft market. I’m honored for the opportunity to lead this exceptional company and to build on that momentum through 2022 and beyond.”

Knight will work closely with board members at Avery and Founders over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition. He plans to move to Grand Rapids later this year.

“Elton is a seasoned senior executive in the beverage industry who will drive continued improvement for Founders, our distributors, clients and consumers,” said Erik d’Auchamp, director of international business for Mahou. “He has a unique combination of skills and experience that really make him a perfect fit for the role. At the same time, he has an unparalleled understanding of the markets we serve, as well as the vision to grow in our competitive, rapidly evolving industry.”

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