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Constellation Brands CEO Sands to step down in 2019

Constellation Brands Inc. CEO Robert Sands, 60, will step down from the post in March 2019 after 11 years in the role, the company said Oct. 17.

President and COO Bill Newlands, 59, will become CEO after Sands steps down. Sands will become executive chairman, replacing his brother Richard Sands. Richard Sands will transition to executive vice chairman.

Robert Sands joined the company in 1986 and worked in a variety of roles before becoming CEO in July 2007.

Newlands, 59, joined Constellation Brands in 2015 as executive vice president and chief growth officer before becoming president of the company's wine and spirits division in 2016, then company COO in 2017 and president in early 2018, the company said. He held senior leadership roles in the beverage alcohol industry for more than 30 years before joining Constellation Brands.

"Bill understands what it takes to succeed in this rapidly evolving market and he’s the right person to lead our company going forward," Robert Sands said in a statement from Constellation Brands.

Robert Sands is the third member of his family to hold the CEO chair, following Richard Sands and their father, Marvin Sands, who was CEO before the company changed its name to Constellation Brands.

Robert Sands' tenure at Constellation Brand includes the recent C$5 billion investment in Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp. The companies plan to launch a cannabis drink in Canada in 2019.