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Beam Suntory creates innovation and RTD role

PepsiCo executive Olga Osminkina-Jones will join Beam Suntory as the group’s first chief innovation, R&D and RTD officer.

Osminkina-Jones has a “track record of disrupting categories”

Osminkina-Jones will lead the Jim Beam owner’s innovation, research and development (R&D) and ready-to-drink (RTD) strategy in the North America and international regions for products made outside of Japan.

“As we pursue our growth ambitions, innovation will play an increasingly important role, and we also see that ready-to-drink products present a massive growth opportunity for us, at the cross-roads of important consumer trends such as refreshment, better-for-you and convenience,” said Albert Baladi, president and CEO of Beam Suntory.

“That’s why we’ve created the position [and] why Olga is ideally suited for this new role. Olga is a dynamic leader and a passionate brand builder, innovator and marketer with a keen focus on luxury and premium products and a track record of disrupting categories.”

Osminkina-Jones has 18 years’ experience at PepsiCo, Danone, Heineken, Estée Lauder and Proctor & Gamble, and previously served as vice president and general manager of the global hydration portfolio and innovation at PepsiCo. Most recently, Osminkina-Jones worked as PepsiCo’s vice president and general manager of food and beverages.

She completed an MBA with specialisation in luxury and fashion goods at SDA Bocconi and has continued academic pursuits at Stanford Business School, Ideo, MIT and Harvard in the subjects of transformative innovation and global business leadership.

After joining Beam Suntory on 30 September, Osminkina-Jones will report to Jessica Spence, the company’s president of brands.

She will also work closely with Japan and China regional president Sho Senba, who will retain global responsibility for RTD brands and products that sit under the group’s Japanese arm Suntory Spirits.

Speaking to The Spirits Business recently, CEO Albert Baladi said he wants to see 50%-60% of Beam Suntory’s portfolio in the premium sphere by 2030.

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