On Aug. 22, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates announced that its President and CEO Ted Baseler was ending his career with the company on Oct. 1, 2018. The announcement caps a 34-year run with the company, of which Baseler led the company for 17 years.
“Ste. Michelle has been my other home for more than three decades. During that time, I’ve had the pleasure of leading a team of dedicated, innovative colleagues,” Baseler said. “However, it’s time to live life away from the winery, which means transitioning the company to new leadership,” he added.
“Ted’s innovative approach to building Ste. Michelle into a premium wine powerhouse, driven by his ‘String of Pearls’ philosophy, will be a lasting legacy,” said Howard Willard, Chairman and CEO of Altria Group, Inc., Ste. Michelle’s parent company since 2009. “And he’s more than Ste. Michelle’s President and CEO; Ted is the face of the Northwest wine industry and helped solidify Washington State’s position as the second largest wine region in the US,” Willard added.
Jim Mortensen, who has global experience in the consumer-packaged goods businesses, has been appointed to succeed Baseler. Mortensen’s career at Philip Morris has spanned several continents. “I greet this new challenge with tremendous enthusiasm and excitement,” said Mortensen. “The stellar reputation of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, its talented organization and renowned winemaking partners energize me. Our unwavering commitment to creating distinctive, high-quality wines and innovation across the enterprise will continue into the future. I take this opportunity to applaud Ted for his remarkable career, abundant achievements and lasting legacy,” he said.