Patron’s COO McDonnell steps downBy Becky Paskin
John McDonnell, international president and COO of Patrón Spirits, has left the company after more than eight years to pursue other interests.
Having spent over 30 years in the drinks industry, McDonnell has “decided it’s time for a change”, and will be replaced on 10 June by Dave Wilson, who joins the company from Brandmuscle, which last year became a subsidiary of Chicago-based technology firm Centiv.
Wilson served as president of Brandmuscle’s beverage alcohol group for the past seven years, while he has also previously held positions at Seagram, Nationa Wine and Spirits, and Southern Wine and Spirits.
“Dave’s tremendous experience and leadership will help us grow the future of this company and our brands, and I’m thrilled that he is joining our team,” said Ed Brown, president and CEO of Patrón Spirits.
“On a personal note, I’ve been very fortunate to work with Dave in the past, and I’m excited that our paths cross once again.”
Wilson added: “I am sincerely honored to be joining Patrón Spirits, and I appreciate the opportunity, challenge, and confidence that Ed Brown has presented. I am excited to get started, and to meet with our employees and partners throughout the world.
“This is a great company and I am proud to be associated with this management team, and representing these iconic brands.”
It’s believed that McDonnell, who was appointed president of Patrón’s international division earlier this year, will be leaving the drinks industry entirely to pursue “entrepreneurial” activities.
Greg Cohen, spokesperson for Patrón Spirits, told The Spirits Business: “His contributions to our company and our brands are truly immeasurable, but he’s been in the industry for 30 years, and has decided it’s time for a change.”
Having joined the company in 2005, McDonnell helped position Patrón as a leading entity in the global premium Tequila category, increasing sales by over 500% during his first four years with the brand. In 2011 Patrón was named the ninth most popular brand in the world by the 2011 Brands Keys Loyalty list, ranking it amongst the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook.
It’s unclear whether McDonnell will continue in his role as chairman for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) following the announcement.