Boulevard Brewing announced it has named a new CEO while founder John McDonald remains president of the Kansas City home-grown company.
McDonald said he's going back to having more fun in his company - ditching the paperwork and executive level management stuff and getting his hands back in the kind of work that built what is now the 10th largest brewery in America.
Mike Magoulas is getting to know Boulevard Brewing Company in the 21st century. He's a former vice president of MillerCoors and said taking over as CEO for McDonald is a cap to his career. He is no stranger to the business, he just knew Boulevard from a different time.
"When I met John (McDonald), he was opening up the brewery, he was living upstairs of the cabinet company that he owned. He had such a strong vision of what he wanted to do, it was just relentless," Magoulas said.
Magoulas first met McDonald right in what is now the barrel room in the late 80s, scouting out McDonald's then-startup business idea for potential investors.
"When I first started the brewery he was the GM here at High Life Sales. It was my job to sell him that I should make it as a brewery," McDonald said.
Twenty-three years, more than 100 employees and hundreds of thousands of barrels later, McDonald said he needs more creativity in his work, leaving the brewing business with a bit of need.
"I don't know if I'm hiring someone to replace myself. I'm hiring somebody that's going to do better at what. I should've been doing all along and just didn't do," McDonald said. "Our goal is to do what we've already been doing - making great beer and selling more of it."
McDonald and Magoulas said they don't plan on expanding like St. Louis' Anheuser Busch did which eventually led to an international takeover. The two hope to grow the business like McDonald's always done - from the bottom up.
"I have no intention of changing the culture if that's what you're asking. I'm glad to be out of the corporate culture. I'm glad to be in one like this. The company and the essence of it are not going to change. I think I'll shine it with a strategy as part of it," Magoulas said.
Magoulas said his first goal is to grow Boulevard's core market, which are consumers in Kansas City. Then the company will start working on their outside markets to keep Boulevard ahead of the curve in the craft beer industry.
McDonald will stay as president of Boulevard. He said all that has changed is now he'll have more fun with less paperwork.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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