Chatime Australia boss appointed global CEO

Chatime global CEO
Carlos Antonius has led the Australian business for nine years. (Source: Supplied)

Chatime Group Australia CEO Carlos Antonius is taking on the newly-created global CEO position from 1 July 2024.

Worldwide Chatime has more than 1,500 locations and in his new role Antonius will oversee the bubble tea brand’s development, with a target of nearly-doubling the footprint with 1000 more outlets within three years.

The appointment to global CEO comes as Chatime’s new brand refresh initiative rolls out internationally.

Antonius said “I’m honoured to have the opportunity to lead Chatime into the next phase of growth, and I look forward to executing our growth strategy and collaborating with the board, our leadership team, and our partners to realise our brand’s full potential.”

Global plans for Chatime

“I’m appreciative the team has set a good foundation with a runway ahead. I see four key opportunities for the global business,” Antonius said.

  • A focus on market profitability in every market, creating a critical and sustainable model for every investor and shareholder.
  • Menu and product innovation; ensuring the brand continues to evolve and innovate and lead the category.
  • Brand refresh. “We invested in project Joy last year, now it is about rolling that out across our primary and secondary markets over the next 12-18 months,” Antonius said.
  • New market identification. Chatime will identify new markets and develop go-to-market strategies.

“We will ensure in the markets where we already have a strong presence, we are really building on the success of the master franchisees.

“US investment is extremely critical, and will lead to us developing a roadmap for the region,” he said.

“And Europe is a key consideration; there are so many markets there. We will start by supporting the master in the UK, building the market out and driving further European expansion off the basis of the UK business model and performance.”

Experienced CEO

Antonius has led the Australian Chatime business since 2015, repositioning the brand to a market-leading position with 200 stores.

He told Franchise Executives the success of the Australian expansion was widening the customer base.

“What was most important for the domestic market is we were the first brand to be able to address barriers to entry for the broader consumer by creating an awareness and understanding of the bubble tea category.”

Antonius has a track record of leadership, management, strategy, and change management across a 30 year career. His previous roles include business development director at Nandos and leading Gelatissimo’s international development.

In 2022 he took on the Chatime Global USA role, spearheading the brand’s growth in the US.

Antonius will lead his new global team from the Sydney office.

“What I’ll be doing is investing in a global office out of Singapore and we are in the process of identifying candidates for the initial three senior leadership roles this year. “

As a result of his appointment, there will be a rejigging of the Australian leadership team, leveraging the talent within the business, he said.

Antonius confirmed the team will transition over the next few months.