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Brown-Forman rejigs leadership team

Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman has announced changes to its executive leadership team to boost brand-building and growth.

Brown-Forman own Jack Daniel’s whiskey brand

The firm has brought new names to its leadership team, following the retirement of John Hayes, president and senior vice-president of the US and Canada arm of Brown-Forman, and Ralph de Chabert, senior vice-president and chief corporate citizen officer.

“We are grateful for the many valuable years Ralph and John shared with us at Brown-Forman. Ralph joined the company in 2007 as our first chief diversity officer, and made immediate and impactful contributions to Brown-Forman,” said Lawson Whiting, president and CEO, Brown-Forman.

“With his leadership, we have strengthened our culture of diversity and inclusion, published our ten-year global diversity and inclusion strategy for race and gender, and set quantifiable ambitions for 2030 representation of women and people of colour.

“In John’s 35 years with Brown-Forman, he led our largest brand, guided our most valuable market, and oversaw our largest acquisition. John always focused his energy on building the brands and people of Brown-Forman, and he had a positive and lasting effect on each brand, project, partner, and person he encountered.”

New appointments

Crystal Peterson has been named as senior vice-president. Peterson will additionally take on the role of chief inclusion and global community relations officer, to shape the company’s progress and performance in diversity and inclusion,

In addition, Jeremy Shepherd has been given the title of president of US and Canada for Brown-Forman. His role will include focusing on growing the organisation’s premium Tequila and whiskey brands.

Shepherd, a 17-year veteran of Brown-Forman, previously served as vice-president, general manager, for the UK and Ireland.

Peterson’s and Shepherd’s new positions are yet to be confirmed by Brown-Forman’s board of directors. 

Meanwhile, Alex Alvarez has assumed responsibility for a newly created position of senior vice-president and chief sustainability officer and director of environmental, social and governance (ESG).

In this new senior leadership role, reporting to CEO Whiting, Alvarez will be responsible for developing and implementing an integrated ESG strategy that ensures Brown-Forman’s growth ambitions are environmentally and socially sustainable. Plus, he will assume responsibility for the company’s global alcohol responsibility efforts.

Alvarez previously served as chief production and sustainability officer.

Whiting added: “We have a deep bench of experienced and talented leaders and look forward to bringing new voices to our executive leadership team.

“Brown-Forman is well positioned for success with a strong portfolio, demonstrated agility and innovation, and leaders who live our values and put our ambition of ‘Nothing Better in the Market’ into practice.”

Earlier this year, Brown-Forman appointed Jan Singer to its board of directors, which took the total number of board members to 12.

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