Interview with Greg Koch Regarding Planned 2014 Sabbatical
During LA Beer Week, there was buzz going around that Greg Koch, Co-Founder and CEO of Stone Brewing Co. would be taking a 6 month sabbatical from his role. For those not familiar with Greg or Stone, he’s the driving force behind the company’s success. One could make comparisons between Greg and the late Steve Jobs, from a visionary and success standpoint. It’s safe to say that Greg has his hands in almost all aspects of Stone’s operations since Stone’s inception 17 years ago and has gone non-stop during the rise of Stone Brewing Co. While we were not alarmed by this news, we wanted to find out whatever we could about the planned sabbatical, and what this means for Stone Brewing Co.
TFP: The Full Pint Recently learned that you will be taking a 6 month sabbatical from your day to day duties as CEO of Stone Brewing Co. Could you please give us an overview on when and why you have chosen to do so?
GK: I’m a full-blown, confessed workaholic. I’ve worked hard for 17 years getting Stone off the ground and building it into the company it is today. To use a computer analogy, I’ve been running with a ton of windows and tabs open. It’s time to shut down the computer, install some updated software, and reboot. The sabbatical will begin mid-Feb 2014 and I’ll return in 6 months.
TFP: What do you plan to do during this sabbatical, and will you be traveling during this time?
GK: Yes. Traveling.
TFP: In the age of smart phones, Twitter and other addictive means of communication, how do you plan on disconnecting from the company and fans of your company for that long?
GK: Yes, I will literally disconnect – I won’t be available or checking email, phone or any social media outlets. My communication will go dark, but conversely, I feel it will help me better see the light…whatever that ‘light’ may be.
TFP: Who will be steering the ship in your absence?
GK: Our more than capable team! Steve Wagner and our entire executive team will run everything as well as they always have.
TFP: Will you be leaving Stone with a roadmap for what you would like accomplished in your absence or will another executive be given creative license comparable to yours while you are gone? (I am making an assumption you are the creative force and final say on most all initiatives at Stone).
GK: Yes, I’ve been the leading force pushing our creativity, but so much of the time it’s the creativity of our own team that I’ve pushed to get out there into the world. Some of it comes from me, but I’m simply a part of our creative endeavors. Steve and I have talked extensively and by working together throughout the years, are on the same path as far as what we envision for the company. I’m confident the decisions that will be made while I’m gone will keep these goals and values in mind. And if I come back and there’s something I don’t like, I’ll change it!
You can follow Greg on Twitter @StoneGreg