De Kuyper names ex-Bacardi boss as new CEO

26th June, 2015 by Amy Hopkins

Dutch spirits producer De Kuyper Holding has named the former head of Bacardi’s Germany business, Mark J. De Witte, as its new CEO.


Mark J. De Witte has been appointed CEO of De Kuyper Holding

De Witte will take up the role on 1 September, but will join the family-owned business’s board of directors on 1 July. He will be replacing current incumbent Ben van Doesburgh.

Until January 2015, De Witte acted as CEO of Bacardi Germany and managing director of the group’s Business Unit for DACH & Nordics, roles he has occupied since 2011.

Between 2008 and 2011, De Witte was CEO of Bacardi UK and Ireland. In the same time period, he acted as CEO of UK distribution subsidiary Bacardi Brown-Forman.

From 2000-2008, De Witte was the managing director of Bacardi’s Netherlands business.

De Kuyper said that with 25 years experience in the global spirits industry, De Witte will “play a key role in optimising the company’s global brand management and portfolio expansion”.

“The opportunity for my family to bring Mark De Witte into our family business will certainly landmark a new era for the company and its global success”, said Marc De Kuyper, president of the company’s Miami-based importing division, Royal Dutch Distillers, and 11th generation De Kuyper family member.

“Our current CEO, Ben van Doesburgh, successfully built a strong foundation for both our company and the 11th generation.

“I look forward to working closely with Mark de Witte to further build on Ben’s legacy to ultimately steer our company into its next 320 years of existence.”

De Kuyper added that he believes De Witte will have a “big impact “ on the group’s success in the American markets.

Towards the end of 2013, De Kuyper revealed a new design for its liqueur range, as well as three new pot stills at its Schiedam distillery in order to branch out in to rum and whisky.

De Witte’s departure from Bacardi follows a spate of executive changes at the company in recent months.

The group’s chief marketing officer Dima Ivanov stepped down from his role after Bacardi revealed a complete overhaul of its marketing structure – prompting former Bacardi Canada CEO to pen an open letter warning the company to address “fundamental issues” that “plague” its business.

In April this year, Bacardi revealed it had appointed a single communications group to handle all global advertising, media and digital business of its major brands, days after it was confirmed the group had shed 10% of its North American workforce.

Stefan Bomhard left his position as president of Bacardi’s European business at the start of this year, while Mike Dolan was confirmed as the group’s permanent CEO following the retirement of Ed Shirley – who left after just two years at the helm.

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