Diageo’s Mahlan named Distilled Spirits Council chair

15th June, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

The Distilled Spirits Council has appointed Diageo North America’s Deirdre Mahlan as chair at the same time as electing an interim president and CEO.

L-R: Deirdre Mahlan and Clarkson Hine

Beam Suntory’s senior vice president of corporate communications, Clarkson Hine, will become interim president and CEO.

He takes over from Kraig R Naasz, following the recent announcement that Naasz will leave the company after two-and-a-half years in the role.

The board has appointed a search committee of senior executives to find a new president and CEO.

Mahlan, currently Diageo North America president, has succeeded Jim Clerkin who has held the role since 2016.

Mahlan has more than 20 years of experience in the consumer goods sector in senior roles, primarily in the US with Diageo and Seagram. Most recently, she served as global CFO of Diageo PLC, during which time she was a member of Diageo’s board of directors.

“Deirdre brings enormous experience and insight to the leadership role at the Distilled Spirits Council, and I couldn’t be more pleased that she will lead the council forward as chair,” said Clerkin.

“Her breadth and depth of leadership in the spirits industry will be advantageous for the council, as we navigate a dynamic marketplace, and build on eight straight years of market share gains.”

Mahlan said: “On behalf of my fellow directors, I want to extend our gratitude to Jim for his effective leadership of the board during a time of such strong momentum.

“I look forward to working closely with my peers to advance the strategic interests of our sector, our companies, and the Distilled Spirits Council as we continue to pursue marketplace modernisation, promote moderation and responsibility, and further grow spirits market share.”

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