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Bill Newlands

President and Chief Executive Officer, Constellation Brands

Years in current role: 3

What was your biggest success in 2021?

We have an amazing team at Constellation and I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done to overcome various headwinds posed by the second year of the pandemic, rising inflation, supply chain challenges and a host of other issues to deliver another strong performance in calendar year 2021. First and foremost, we’ve taken a number of steps to keep employees safe, in consultation with our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tim Malins. In line with our company’s ambitions to build brands people love and to elevate human connections and communities where we live and work, we continued to maintain a relentless focus on delivering for our consumers and customers, ensuring they could find preferred brands such as Corona, Modelo, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, The Prisoner and High West Whiskey on physical and digital retail shelves. And we continued to make a positive impact in our communities through efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions, various water stewardship initiatives, investments to help female- and minority-founded startups in the beverage alcohol space grow their businesses, and partnerships with organizations such as Dress for Success and Unidos in support of women in the workforce and underserved communities. Our team once again demonstrated why they are the best in the business, and for that I am both very proud and grateful.

What are your expectations in 2022?

We have bold ambitions as a company, and I fully believe our best days are in front of us. We’re only scratching the surface of where this company can go. Our core beer, wine and spirits portfolios continue to have tremendous runway for growth in the years ahead, and we’re making necessary investments in production capacity to fuel this growth well into the future. Innovation will play an integral role in our success going forward, as consumer preferences continue to evolve, and we’ve built solid momentum in this area over the past several years with new product introductions such as Corona Premier, our Modelo Chelada franchise (the industry’s No. 1 chelada franchise), Kim Crawford Illuminate, Meiomi Cabernet Sauvignon, Unshackled by The Prisoner Wine Company, and High West Ready-to Drink Cocktails. Our goal is to continue to find ways to deliver high quality, great tasting, on-trend products that consumers love and to participate in more consumption occasions. And as we continue to have success as a company, we will also remain committed to making a positive impact on our environment and communities through our ESG initiatives.

What was your biggest takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic?

There is a saying that “challenging times don’t build character, they reveal it.” While we’re not completely “out of the woods” yet as it pertains to the pandemic, I can tell you that is absolutely the case as it relates to our team at Constellation and I continue to be amazed by their resiliency. Our people have always been and continue to be the strength of our company. Their passion, dedication, adaptability, and relentless focus on meeting the needs of consumers has positioned Constellation for continued success well into the future. Our goal is to be a company that is truly worth reaching for in all respects, whether you’re a consumer, employee, investor, business partner or a fellow community member. I’m proud to say that our team members bring this vision to life each and every day.

If time were no issue, what would you be doing to help the community that you aren’t already?

I grew up in a community, not far outside of the Rochester area, where food insecurity was a real issue for many people, especially children. For some, it was a daily struggled to grow, develop, and learn how to be their best selves because their time and energy was spent worrying about their next meal. I believe that investing in the health of our youth is a great investment in the future of our society, and so personally, I strive to be able to do more in this area.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at


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