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Swisse CEO sells stake and resigns

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016

The boss of Australian vitamins maker Swisse Wellness is stepping down as a Hong Kong company takes control.

Chief executive Radek Sali will resign from the company he has headed in the past nine years on December 31, after he and other minority shareholders sold their stake to Biostime International.

Biostime bought a majority stake in Swisse in September and the latest transaction gives it full ownership of the Melbourne-based company.

Biostime chief executive and chairman Luo Fei said the Swisse brand is renowned for its innovation, quality, and premium positioning, and Mr Salid had a big part in building its reputation.

"Under Radek's dedicated leadership, Swisse Wellness has achieved significant year-on-year revenue growth and has been lauded as one of the fastest growing in the category globally over the last 10 years," he said in a statement on Thursday.

He said Swisse will now focus increasing its reach via new channels in China including e-commerce, pharmacies and supermarkets, and expand into the US and other countries in Europe during 2017.

A statement from Swisse said Mr Sali's decision to leave comes after almost 12 years with the brand, in which time he has taken the company from a family-owned business to Australia's number one natural health label with more than 300 products sold across Australia, New Zeland, Singapore, UK, Italy, Netherlands and China.

Mr Sali will move to concentrate on his personal business and investments.

"I look forward to watching the business continue to grow from the sidelines," he said.

Swisse's managing director Adem Karafili has also resigned and will be leaving Swisse at the end of the year.

Oliver Horn, Treasury Wines Estates' former integration director, has been appointed at the helm. He will start the managing director role on January 3.

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