Brown-Forman making leadership changes for improved global growth

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 16, 2018) (BUSINESS WIRE) — Brown-Forman Corp. will make changes to its organization designed to help the company continue its successful globalization strategy of building a portfolio of premium and super premium spirits brands around the world, led by its strong leadership of the fast-growing American whiskey category. The changes are effective June 15, 2018.

John Hayes will become senior vice president, president of USA & Canada. Hayes has 31 years of experience at Brown-Forman and recently has served as SVP, chief marketing officer for Brown-Forman Brands (all brands except for Jack Daniel’s). Prior to that, he was global brand director for the company’s tequila brands and global brand director for the Jack Daniel’s family of brands.

Thomas Hinrichs, currently president of Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands region, will become SVP, president of the International Division, responsible for the company’s business in all regions except the U.S. and Canada. Hinrichs has been with Brown-Forman for 21 years and prior to his current position served as managing director for Central Europe, Greater Europe & Africa, and all of Europe.

As a result of the changes announced today, Jill Jones, EVP and president of the North America Region, many emerging global markets, and global travel retail, will be leaving Brown-Forman. During her successful 18-year career at Brown-Forman, she skillfully has led a variety of functions and regions and provided exemplary leadership in the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. The company announced thanks Jones for her many contributions.

Additionally, Mark McCallum will become executive vice president, chief brands officer, responsible for the marketing activities for the company’s global portfolio of brands. Prior to taking this role, McCallum over the last 15 years has served as president of Jack Daniel’s, chief operating officer, and chief marketing officer.

The last major component of the changes announced today is the creation of a newly-envisioned Global Corporate Affairs organization, led by Mike Keyes as senior vice president, chief corporate affairs officer. The new Global Corporate Affairs organization will include Corporate Social Responsibility, Government Affairs, Family Shareholder Relations, Corporate Communications, Global Community Relations, and Corporate Services. A 27-year veteran of Brown-Forman, Keyes for the last decade has served as SVP, president of the North America Region. Prior to that, Keyes was global brand director for Jack Daniel’s and Korbel brand general manager.

In announcing the changes, CEO Paul Varga and COO Lawson Whiting said they believe that these refinements to the company’s current structure will better enable it to accomplish its strategic ambitions, including its overarching goal of “Building Forever.”

“These four seasoned leaders have more than 90 years of combined global brand and region experience, as well as many years of executive leadership at Brown-Forman Corporation,” said Whiting. “They are well prepared to help deliver upon our goals of demonstrating global leadership in premium American whiskey and building a portfolio of premium-plus brands that can meaningfully contribute to both our shorter- and longer-term ambitions.”

“From such a strong existing foundation, we are fortunate to have very talented people and valuable brands,” stated Varga. “These leaders, in partnership with their colleagues worldwide, have the knowledge, capabilities, and experience to ensure that Brown-Forman continues to deliver industry leading results in the years ahead.”

For nearly 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Early Times, Chambord, BenRiach, GlenDronach and Slane. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by over 4,700 employees and sold in more than 165 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit http://www.brown-forman.com/.

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