News

Farmer School Alum and Business Advisory Council Member John Watkins Named CEO of ASC Fine Wines

October 2012

ASC Fine Wines, China's leading fine wine importer and distributor, has appointed Farmer graduate and Business Advisory Council member John D. Watkins as its Chief Executive Officer.

"John has deep respect for, and understanding of the people, traditions and culture of China. He is also a proven business leader with an impeccable track record." said Farmer School Dean Roger L. Jenkins, the Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership. "We congratulate John and have every confidence that he will lead ASC to even higher levels of success."

Watkins has more than twenty-five years of success in China in multiple industries, leading improvements in revenues, profits, market share, talent and shareholder value, building partnerships, establishing new businesses, optimizing existing operations, and engaging the US and Chinese governments for Fortune 500 global corporations. Watkins is also an avid wine enthusiast, was ASC's first home delivery customer and has known the St. Pierre family since the 1980s.

Watkins was most recently President & CEO at GE AVIC Civil Avionics Systems Company, where he led the establishment of the 50-50 joint venture between GE and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC), the position he leaves to join ASC.Prior to joining GE, Watkins was a Corporate Vice President of Cummins Inc. and Chairman and CEO of Cummins (China) Investment Co., Limited, where he led Cummins' team of 7,000 people in 21 locations in China. Cummins' revenues and profits in China quadrupled during the six years Watkins led the organization.

"I am honored and delighted that the ASC board selected me to succeed Don Jr. as CEO of ASC Fine Wines. Since the late-1990s, I watched in admiration as Don Sr., Don Jr. and their team of professionals not only built a highly successful business, but also built a culture of wine appreciation in China" , said Watkins. "My goal, working with the board and the ASC team, is to take the company to the next level of growth, profitability and customer service and to further enhance appreciation for good wines in China."

Watkins is active as a community leader in China. He was twice elected to and served as Chairman for the American Chamber of Commerce in China from 2009 - 2010 where he led the Chamber's efforts to influence and shape government policies on indigenous innovation, market access, intellectual property protection and export controls.