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OSS Craft Distillery hires new CEO from an international giant

02/03/2023
Henrik Ellström

OSS Craft Distillery, the company behind Bareksten Spirits, brings in Henrik Ellström from Pernod Ricard to lead international large-scale investment and further commercial growth.

Henrik Ellström takes up the role as CEO of OSS Craft Distillery from 1 March 2023. He comes from Pernod Ricard and most recently held the position of Global Brand Director for one of the world’s leading spirits brands, Absolut Vodka.

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“I am impressed by what Bareksten has achieved with limited resources but with a lot of passion combined with strong entrepreneurship. It feels very motivating to have the opportunity to lead the development of Bareksten going forward, to take the brand to the next level internationally and to challenge the more established brands in our categories”, says Henrik Ellström.

Founder and originator of OSS Craft Distillery, Stig Bareksten, has led the company up until now with strong growth from its inception in 2016 to the present day. Stig is in no way taking a step back, the company is growing at a good pace, and he is moving into a role now with full focus on product development and commercialization.

“The idea has been from the very beginning to become a national and then an international brand. We are well on our way with that job. Therefore, the timing of bringing Henrik into the team is perfect. This also gives me more time to focus on product development and branding”, says founder Stig Bareksten.

OSS Craft Distillery, via its products under Bareksten Spirits, has in recent years assumed the position as a clear market leader in the premium gin category in Norway. The company is also experiencing strong growth in several international markets.

“We are really looking forward to having Henrik on the team. He has the profile we have been looking for and brings valuable international experience that the company will benefit from. We are growing quickly, and Henrik will strengthen the competence of the team with his broad experience of international development of leading brands”, says Hans Petter Eikeland, chairman of OSS Craft Distillery.

The company’s ambition is to establish itself as a central brand within international super premium spirits. Henrik joins the company with more than 10 years’ experience from leading roles in the spirits industry as well as market experience and an international network which will be central to the further growth and success of OSS Craft Distillery.

“Bareksten is well positioned for further international growth with a broad product portfolio within gin, vodka, aquavit and Ready to Drink cocktails as well as a very high product quality that has won awards in several of the most prestigious competitions in the world. I am very much looking forward to continuing that development together with our employees, customers and partners”, says Henrik Ellström, new CEO of OSS Craft Distillery.

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