Bacardi CEO Mike Dolan to retireBy Kristiane Sherry
Bacardi has announced its CEO Mike Dolan will retire on 1 April 2018 and will be succeeded by current Asia, Middle East and Africa president, Mahesh Madhavan.
In the interim, Madhavan, who has worked at Bacardi for more than 20 years, will take on the role of regional president of Europe.
Dolan will remain on the board of directors until 2019 when he will retire from the company.
Prior to joining Bacardi, Dolan served as CEO and chairman at media, sports and fashion management company IMG Worldwide from 2010-2014.
He joined the Bacardi board in 2009 and was named CEO in 2014.
During his leadership, Bacardi has taken a “disciplined approach to increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and re-invest in its iconic portfolio of brands”, the company said in a statement.
He also became known for his “Mike Tyson business methods”. In August 2015 he told The Spirits Business: “In my experience, if you are going to change something, you need to do big change, particularly if the stakes are high. And that’s what we have done, because we are in this to win.”
In the statement released today, Dolan said: “Our team is proud of the work we’ve done to strengthen the financial position of the company and improve the topline through a sharp focus on enhancing the equity of our core brands.
“We’re delivering cost savings and reinvesting those savings in incremental advertising and promotion activities designed to captivate a new generation of consumers. As importantly, we have stabilised our leadership team and created robust development programs to build a deep bench of global talent.
“I have no doubt that with his long tenure, tremendous leadership qualities, and global perspective, Mahesh will continue to drive growth and brand momentum while nurturing our culture and our people. I look forward to partnering with him as he prepares to assume his new responsibilities.”
‘Orderly transition of leadership’
Facundo L. Bacardi, chairman of the board of Bacardi Limited, announced Madhavan as the next Bacardi Limited CEO: “For almost three years, the board has conducted a rigorous succession planning process to ensure an orderly transition of leadership. With a proud history that dates back 155 years, it is critical to us to advance our goals as a company in a manner consistent with our culture.
“As a long-time Bacardi executive, Mahesh has the ideal mix of leadership skills, commercial, operational and financial expertise, and global brands experience. Importantly, he fully embraces our culture, history, and values, and he is an exemplary leader of people.
“We have great confidence in Mahesh and his vision to lead Bacardi well into the future, providing continuity of leadership to build on our success during Mike’s tenure and capitalise on the momentum of our brands and the tremendous global opportunity in both developed and emerging markets.”
Madhavan added: “It is an extraordinary honour to be selected as the next CEO of Bacardi Limited. I know I speak for so many of my colleagues when I say that it is a privilege to work for a family-owned company with such a storied history that has thrived through many generations. Our strong culture is built on the spirit of entrepreneurship and working together as one team, with a focus on equity and fairness.
“I will execute the stewardship of this company with the great care it deserves, and am fortunate to assume this important role with the support of Facundo and Mike, and with the benefit of a talented management team whose solid execution has positioned the Company well for significant long-term growth.
“We have many exciting opportunities ahead of us, and we are in the ideal position to capitalise on global spirits trends with iconic brands in the premium and ultra-premium segments.”
During his career at Bacardi Madhavan has held leadership roles in a number of key emerging markets, including managing director of India, managing director for Thailand and the Philippines, and managing director of South Asia and Southeast Asia. He has also served as the leader of Bacardi’s Emerging Market Council.
‘Nurturing internal talent’
In his new interim position as regional president Europe, Madhavan will be based in Geneva. On assuming the CEO role he will move to the company’s Bermuda headquarters, subject to immigration approvals, the firm said.
Current regional president of Europe, Paolo Perego, will leave Bacardi, the company says.
Alex Ouziel, current VP and managing director of Eastern Europe, will move to the Dubai office to replace Madhavan as Asia, Middle East and Africa president and will join the global leadership team.
Oksana Pevtsova, who has worked with Bacardi for more than 10 years, will succeed Ouziel as VP and managing director of Eastern Europe.
“It’s a pleasure to announce the promotions of Alex and Oksana. Their success demonstrates the commitment our company has made to identifying and nurturing internal talent,” the company added in a statement.