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Ex-Diageo exec joins Patrón and Grey Goose as CMO

Bacardi has hired former Diageo boss Kathy Parker as chief marketing officer (CMO) for Patrón Tequila and Grey Goose vodka.

Kathy Parker has joined Bacardi as its chief marketing officer for Patrón and Grey Goose

Parker will step into the role following the departure of Lee Applbaum, who left the CMO position in August 2019 and joined global cannabis firm Surterra Wellness.

In her new role at Bacardi, Parker will drive global strategy including brand equity, architecture, positioning and integrated marketing across creative, media and experiential.

She will also lead new product development and innovation across the two super-premium brands.

Parker said: “Leading these two iconic brands which truly define their respective categories is a marketer’s dream.

“I am thrilled to join the Bacardi extended family. I look forward to immersing myself in the vibrant culture and helping fuel the ambitious growth strategy. It’s an exciting time to be joining the Bacardi team.”

Parker has held a number of senior marketing, brand and innovation roles at drinks giant Diageo and consumer goods company Unilever.

Her most recent role was at Diageo, where she held the position of senior vice president for global premium rums, gins and Scotch whisky.

At Diageo, Parker led “transformational growth” across the portfolio and “completely revitalised several brands”.

She has also served as senior vice president, marketing innovation for Diageo, where she managed global marketing and innovation for Irish stout Guinness.

“Kathy’s track record for delivering transformational growth on the brands she leads is truly impressive, and we are delighted to have her at the helm of Grey Goose and Patrón, two brands that continue to captivate consumers and are critical to our long-term success,” said Bacardi CEO Mahesh Madhavan.

“With her entrepreneurial spirit, appetite for disruption, collaborative approach and results-driven leadership, she embodies the best of our culture and is a fantastic addition to our global leadership team at Bacardi.”

Parker will report to Madhavan and will also join the company’s global leadership team. She will work closely with John Burke, global CMO at Bacardi.

Martin de Dreuille, vice president, global marketing for Grey Goose, and Adrian Parker, vice president, global marketing for Patrón, will report to Parker when she joins later this year.

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