The Coopers tradition
Business SA: Can you tell us about your career and how it led to Coopers’ Brewery?
Glenn: When I was a youngster, Coopers was struggling due to the economic conditions at the time and I was told to find a career outside the brewery. I entered the electronics industry which led to computers and I ended up with my own sales and service company.
Some years later, Coopers had worked its way through the difficult times and the then Managing Director, Bill Cooper and Chairman, Maxwell Cooper, felt it was appropriate to look to the future.
Dr Tim Cooper (Managing Director) and I were approached and asked to join the brewery. I began work at Coopers in 1990, although I had been a Director since 1988. I became Chairman in February, 2002.
Business SA: What would be the highlights of your career to date?
Glenn: From a business point of view, major highlights included setting up my own successful national computer company and being part of Coopers’ successful defence against the hostile takeover bid by Lion Nathan in 2005.
Others have been the growth of Coopers Australia-wide, winning major sponsorships such as the World Police and Fire Games and gaining major contracts, such as the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Adelaide Festival Centre.
From a personal point of view, walking the Kokoda Track last year was a major achievement, especially as it followed in the footsteps of my uncle, Colonel Geoffrey Cooper, who fought on the Track during World War II.
Business SA: What are the most rewarding aspects of your role?
Glenn: The people that I do business with, which involves all aspects of business and the sociability of people around Australia and overseas.
Business SA: What major changes and new trends are you experiencing in your industry?
Glenn: The emergence of easy-drinking, lighter beer styles such as the low-carb products currently on the market is one of the biggest changes the industry is facing.
Coopers is still known predominantly as an ale producer, but has introduced a number of new beers to meet the emerging trend. The recent launch of Coopers Clear and 62 Pilsner are examples of major successes.
Business SA: What gives you most pride?
Glenn: Coopers’ tradition of success and the growing national interest in our company which I think is vital to the company’s future. It is also a matter of pride to see members of the next generation of the Cooper family starting to take up positions within the brewery and securing our long-term prosperity and success.
Business SA: What is Coopers’ attitude to sponsorships?
Glenn: As Coopers becomes more recognised around Australia, we are increasingly looking for suitable national sponsorship opportunities.
In recent times we have sponsored the Sydney Food and Wine Festival, surf life saving and the SBS program RocKwiz. We are interested in events that are wholesome and credible.
Business SA: Is politics important to you?
Glenn: Yes, absolutely. One thing I have often stated is that while South Australia has a stream of resident thinkers, what it really needs are resident doers.
What disappointed me the most with our politicians is the short term focus they have and their apparent inability to look beyond the four year electoral cycle, especially for major issues such as water and roads.
Business SA: What is the best thing about being in South Australia?
Glenn: The climate is great while the city is small enough to be fun, but large enough to get serious business done. Socially, we still have the ability to deal with each other in a trusting manner.
Business SA: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Glenn: Fishing, golf, dining and outdoor activities in general.