CMO Lee Applbaum resigns from Bacardi

30th July, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Bacardi has announced that Lee Applbaum, the global chief marketing officer (CMO) for Patrón Tequila and Grey Goose vodka, will leave the company at the end of August.

Lee Applbaum: “True honour” to work on Grey Goose and Patrón

Applbaum will step down to “pursue other opportunities outside the company and spend more time with his family”. He will remain affiliated with Bacardi as a special advisor to the board of directors.

The executive joined Patrón Spirits International in 2013 from Australian department store chain Target, prior to Bacardi’s acquisition of the Tequila company in April 2018.

He assumed the additional position of CMO for Grey Goose vodka in August last year.

“Grey Goose and Patrón proudly sit together behind the world’s best bars and have defined their respective categories,” said Applbaum.

“It has been a true honour to work on these two iconic brands, which has been the most fulfilling years of my career.

“I remain a passionate evangelist for our brands and look forward to staying connected to the company and our people through my work as a special advisor.

“I now have the extraordinary privilege to pursue my personal passions in business and life and spend time with our only child in the handful of fleeting years before he leaves for college.”

Bacardi CEO Mahesh Madhavan added: “We wish Lee all the very best in what will undoubtably be an exciting next chapter in his successful career.

“Lee is a brilliant marketer and brand builder and we thank him for his longtime leadership at Patrón and more recently, his work creating a new and prolific marketing and creative platform for Grey Goose which has invigorated the brand and shows fantastic promise right out of the gate.”

Madhavan has begun a search for Applbaum’s replacement with a “focus on external candidates who bring both diverse experience and a luxury and lifestyle lens” to Patrón and Grey Goose.

The successor will work closely with Bacardi’s global CMO John Burke and also serve on the Bacardi global leadership team.

In addition, Bacardi has promoted Adrian Parker to vice president global marketing for Patrón, running all integrated marketing activities for the Tequila brand. Parker formerly led digital marketing for Patrón and Grey Goose.

The firm is currently interviewing internal candidates to lead integrated marketing for Grey Goose. Both roles will report to Applbaum’s successor.

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