November 19 2013  |  People

Anders Olsson resigns as Director Global Travel Retail at Absolut

By Ryan White

Anders Olsson has taken the Absolut brand to new heights in travel retail and Americas Duty Free wishes him all the best in future endeavors

After eight years’ leadership of the Global Travel Retail (GTR) division of The Absolut Company (TAC), Director Anders Olsson has decided to resign his position and move back from London to his home town Stockholm. The reasons for Olsson’s decision are personal.

Under Anders Olsson’s leadership, the TAC GTR division has undergone a dramatic and groundbreaking evolution, pushing the boundaries in branding and marketing, setting new standards for the GTR channel.

“Our mission since I embarked on this journey has been to become less of a trading operation, moving into branding and marketing, a process which I’m extremely happy and proud to have been a part of,” says Olsson. “Today, the GTR world is generally used as a test market and launch pad for our innovative new brand initiatives and marketing activations.”

Two years after his appointment as Director of the TAC GTR division, Anders Olsson was faced with the challenge of integrating his unit into the operations of Pernod Ricard following the company´s acquisition of V&S and The Absolut Company in 2008 from the Swedish State. The GTR organization was swiftly trimmed, updated and relocated from Stockholm to London, where Olsson himself has been based for the past three years.

As part of Pernod Ricard, the GTR division of TAC has executed an impressive string of unique, cutting edge Absolut innovations and activations. The record includes a number of Traveller’s Exclusive product launches, starting with Absolut Flavor of the Tropics in 2010.

“There have been so many great ventures, from building bars on board Korean Air´s Airbus 380, Absolut Crystal bottles and a number of great Limited Editions; it’s impossible to say which has been the most important and exciting,” says Anders Olsson. “However, the creation of an Absolut Brand Store, where we have the opportunity to tell the story about every dimension of our brand, has long been a dream. I was privileged to conclude my career at The Absolut Company with the opening of the world’s first Absolut Brand Store in Kuala Lumpur International Airport this summer in a truly rewarding collaboration between Eraman, Pernod Ricard Asia Travel Retail, TAC GTR and forefront creative agencies. The project was a result of fantastic teamwork which serves as an important milestone for the Absolut brand globally.

“I want to take the opportunity to thank my unique and excellent team for all their efforts and extraordinary dedication to our mission over the years,” Olsson adds. “I also want to express my gratitude to the Pernod Ricard Distribution teams, customers, agencies and collaborators for delivering on all our innovations. It’s amazing what we have achieved together and I will always be proud of these accomplishments and the journey to get there. I wish all my very best and loads of fun in the future!”

Anders Olsson’s successor will be announced in December 2013.

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