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Albert Baladi to step down as Beam Suntory CEO

Beam Suntory president and CEO Albert Baladi will step down later this year when Greg Hughes will take the helm.

Beam Suntory Albert Baladi
L-R: Greg Hughes, Albert Baladi and Tak Niinami

Baladi, who has been president and CEO since 2019, will hand over his CEO responsibilities to Hughes on 1 October 2023, but will continue to serve as CEO advisor until the end of the year. He will remain a senior advisor to the company throughout 2024.

He has been part of the company’s executive leadership team for 12 years. Since he took up the president and CEO position, Beam Suntory’s annual sales have grown at high single digits to surpass US$5 billion. Furthermore, the company’s premium brands now account for the majority of sales after an ‘accelerated’ premiumisation strategy.

Baladi said: “It’s with an optimistic eye toward the future and extreme pride for all that has been accomplished that I have made the personal decision to step down and make way for the next leader.

“This is a decision I have been contemplating for some time with my family and given the strength of the company, clear growth strategy in place for the future and the right team in place, now is the right time to hand the reins over to my successor, Greg Hughes, and his exceptional leadership.

“I am very proud of what we have built these past 12 years and am grateful for the opportunity to lead Beam Suntory as president and CEO during a five-year period of massive transformation for our company.”

Hughes currently works as Beam Suntory’s senior vice-president chief growth and brands officer.

He boasts more than 30 years of experience in consumer goods, spanning marketing, commercial and management roles.

Hughes joined Beam Suntory in 2015 as president North America. After four years in the role, he became general manager of North America.

Tak Niinami, president and CEO of Suntory Holdings, said: “Greg is ideally suited to succeed Albert as CEO and lead the company’s next era of growth, building on the strong track record under Albert’s leadership.

“Greg has an incredibly strong track record of performance anchored in strategic vision, exemplary brand building, and a people-first inclusive mindset. He truly knows how to put brands and people at the heart of the business, and we have great confidence in his leadership.”

Hughes’ replacement will be announced in the coming months.

‘Tremendous leadership’

Niinami also gave thanks to Baladi for his time at Beam Suntory: “On behalf of Suntory Holdings, I’d like to express deep appreciation to Albert for his tremendous leadership, exemplary contributions, and impact during his 12-year tenure with Beam Suntory.

“As CEO, Albert has led a highly transformative phase for the company. He architected the company’s 2030 growth strategy, established a brand-led operating model, step-changed investments in talent and capabilities, launched the company’s first ever Proof Positive Sustainability strategy, moved our global headquarters to New York City, and navigated the many challenges of the Covid pandemic.

“Under Albert’s values-based leadership, Beam Suntory has delivered exemplary business performance, accelerated premiumisation, and become a stronger organisation. We couldn’t be more thankful for his leadership and impact on the brands and culture of Beam Suntory.”

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