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Pernod Ricard appoints new North America CEO

French spirits firm Pernod Ricard has named Conor McQuaid as the new CEO for its North America operations.

Pernod Ricard’s Conor McQuaid
Conor McQuaid brings 25 years of prior experience at Pernod Ricard to the role

McQuaid will take over from outgoing CEO Ann Mukherjee, who is stepping down to focus on her family. His appointment will come into effect from 1 January 2024.

McQuaid has worked at Pernod Ricard for 25 years. His most recent role was as executive vice president for sustainability and responsibility, communications and public affairs, and he’s also been a member of Pernod Ricard’s executive committee since 2015.

Through his role on the executive committee, he has contributed to shaping Pernod Ricard’s business strategy.

Before his last position, McQuaid was CEO of Irish Distillers, where he prioritised the growth of the company’s full portfolio of Irish whiskeys, led by Jameson.

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, commented: “The US continues to be our number-one market, and Conor brings a unique skill set from his 25 years at Pernod Ricard that is perfectly suited to continue our transformation in such a dynamic market.

“He has a deep understanding of every aspect of our business and a proven record of execution. His leadership and the instrumental role he played in the success of Jameson, particularly in the US, underscore his ability to further advance Pernod Ricard’s ambitions in North America.”

Ann Mukherjee’s departure

Mukherjee has been CEO for North America (the US and Canada) since November 2019, when she replaced Paul Duffy, who left to return to Ireland.

Ricard said: “On behalf of the executive committee and all of us at Pernod Ricard, we would like to thank Ann for her significant contribution to our North America business and brands.

“Ann leaves a strong foundation of achievements in the evolution of our portfolio strategy and brand marketing effectiveness across the North American market. We wish her the very best in her future endeavours.”

Pernod Ricard recently partnered with an insights platform Stravito to better understand consumers, and the company also spoke to The Spirits Business about its Scotch whisky arm Chivas Brothers’ move into the hospitality industry.

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