Kadle joins Beam Suntory India as board chairman

Beam Suntory has appointed Praveen K Kadle as independent director and chairman of the board for the firm’s Indian arm. Kadle will support Beam Suntory’s growth ambitions in the “key developing market” of India, where the company has set the goal of reaching US$1 billion in sales by 2030. “Beam Suntory has an ambition to become the world’s most admired, fastest-growing spirits company, and the board of directors provides strategic vision and direction as to…

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Uncle Nearest appoints ‘first’ African-American master blender

Tennessee whiskey brand Uncle Nearest has named Victoria Eady-Butler as its master blender, believed to be the “first-known” African-American person to hold the title. Eady-Butler is the great-great-granddaughter of the whiskey brand’s namesake, Nearest Green, who was the first African-American master distiller. “It’s difficult for me to put into words what the creation of this brand has meant to me and my family,” Eady-Butler said. “Being able to contribute to my great-great-grandfather’s whiskey-making legacy as…

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Diageo hires GM for Johnnie Walker experience

The chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland will join Diageo to head its new tourism experience for Johnnie Walker in Edinburgh, as well as the group’s network of distillery visitor centres across Scotland. Barbara Smith has more than 30 years of leadership experience running some of the UK’s foremost leisure and tourist attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, Chester Zoo and Edinburgh Zoo. She will join Diageo as general manager of the Johnnie Walker…

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Eric Vallat to rejoin Rémy Cointreau as CEO

Former Rémy Martin CEO Eric Vallat is to re-join the Cognac brand’s parent company, Rémy Cointreau, as its new CEO, taking over from Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet. Vallat left Rémy Martin last year to join Swiss luxury goods company Richemont Group as its head of fashion and accessories. Chapoulaud-Floquet, who has been CEO of French drinks group Rémy Cointreau since 2017, announced in July that she would be stepping down from her role for personal reasons. Vallat…

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Saunders takes hot seat as WSTA chairman

Bibendum CEO Michael Saunders has been appointed chairman of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) following the departure of Dan Jago. Saunders first joined UK wine and spirits supplier Bibendum in 1982 and left the company in 2017. He then rejoined Bibendum as its CEO in 2018 following the group’s acquisition by C&C Group. Saunders is also chairman of drinks industry charity The Benevolent. In his new role with the WSTA, Saunders’ “main priority”…

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