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Walsh Whiskey hires former Diageo exec

The Walsh Whiskey Distillery has appointed former Diageo executive John Kelly to the newly created role of commercial director.

Former Diageo exec John Kelly has joined Walsh Whiskey Distillery as commercial director

Kelly held a number of senior positions at Diageo within the Irish, global travel and Middle Eastern business units.

He will lead Walsh Whiskey’s sales and marketing function and work closely with founder Bernard Walsh on business strategy, brand building and new product development.

Kelly has specific responsibility for developing the company’s route to market across the 45 countries where the portfolio is available plus establishing new markets around the globe.

“This is a key appointment and role in the development of our company,” said Walsh. “We are delighted to have attracted and secured someone of John’s experience and stature within the drinks sector. John’s extensive international network and experience is already proving to be invaluable.”

Kelly added: “It is wonderful to be involved in the Irish whiskey renaissance, helping an indigenous product become a world leader again.

“I am incredibly excited by that challenge and delighted to be working with Bernard and the team – Walsh Whiskey’s track record, over a decade, of developing and building two fantastic whiskey brands in The Irishman and Writers’ Tears is hugely impressive. To join such a talented and passionate team and work in the magical setting of the distillery at Royal Oak estate is very special.”

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