US – Beam Suntory, a leading global spirits company known for its iconic brands, has announced the resignation of its president and CEO Albert Baladi at the end of September.

The company’s chief growth and brands officer, Greg Hughes, will occupy his position on October 1, 2023.

Baladi will, however, remain to serve as CEO advisor after stepping down for the rest of 2023 and will be engaged as a senior advisor in 2024.

Baladi, who has been president and CEO since 2019, has been part of the company’s executive leadership team for 12 years.

Since he took up the president and CEO position, Beam Suntory’s annual sales have grown at high single digits to surpass US$5 billion. Furthermore, the company’s premium brands now account for most sales after an ‘accelerated’ premiumization strategy.

In his tenure, the company has acquired premium ready-to-drink cocktail brand On The Rocks; inked a distribution deal for Mezcal Amarás, a premium and sustainability-focused mezcal brand; and partnered with Boston Beer to launch products including Twisted Tea Sweet Tea Whiskey, Sauza Agave Cocktails, and Truly Flavored Vodka.

These transactions enabled Beam Suntory to better position itself to respond to growing consumer demand for more portable and premium offerings.

With the appointment coming amid the supply chain disruptions and market economic downturns in most markets, Hughes will be tasked with furthering Beam Suntory’s strategy.

He boasts more than 30 years of experience in consumer goods, spanning marketing, commercial, and management roles. Hughes joined Beam Suntory in 2015 as president of North America. After four years in the role, he became general manager of North America.

Prior to Beam Suntory, he served in positions with increasing responsibility at Procter & Gamble, Bel Brands USA, and Kraft Foods.

“Greg is ideally suited to succeed Albert as CEO and lead the company’s next era of growth, building on the strong track record under Albert’s leadership,” Tak Niinami, president, and CEO of Suntory Holdings, said in a statement.

“Greg has an incredibly strong track record of performance anchored in strategic vision, exemplary brand building, and a people-first inclusive mindset.”

Hughes holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University and is a graduate of the University of Kansas.

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