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Brown-Forman names new European president

Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman has switched up its leadership positions, promoting Yiannis Pafilis to president in Europe.

Yiannis Pafilis will take over from Marshall Farrer

Pafilis will assume the position from current European president Marshall Farrer. Farrer will retain his role as chief strategic growth officer and continue serving on Brown-Forman’s executive leadership team and its board of directors, the company said.

The change will be effective from 1 March 2024.

Pafilis has been with Brown-Forman for more than 25 years, starting his career at the company as area sales manager for Greece and working his way up to cluster leader of Germany, Czechia/Slovakia, and Poland, while also leading Brown-Forman’s European commercial strategy.

He will be in charge of leading the company’s long-term strategy and driving growth in Europe, and will ‘steward’ Brown‑Forman-owned distribution businesses in the UK, Germany, France, Poland, Spain, Czechia/Slovakia, Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as markets that partner for distribution.

Lawson Whiting, president and CEO of Brown-Forman, said: “Yiannis’ deep industry knowledge, ability to motivate diverse teams, and experience seeding and sustaining profitable growth across Europe have prepared him well for this expanded leadership role.

“He navigates complex and challenging environments with tremendous skill and agility, and unites people to create an inclusive, values-based organisation.”

Farrer’s role

Farrer, meanwhile, will continue working with Whiting and the team in his current position of chief strategic growth officer; developing key partnerships, innovative ideas and corporate development opportunities.

Farrer was appointed president of Brown-Forman Europe in 2020. Farrer has since overseen the launch of the company’s portfolio into key European markets, including Gin Mare, Diplomático rum and Jack Daniel’s & Coca-Cola RTD.

Whiting thanked him for “playing a critical role in growing our business, brands, and people in Europe” and for his leadership: “I am very appreciative of his leadership in this important part of the business, and look forward to partnering more closely with him to advance the strategic long-term growth of the company.

“He provided valuable leadership in establishing a stronger owned distribution network in Europe and built a high-performing team rooted in the values of Brown-Forman.”

Brown-Forman reported “slower than anticipated” sales for the first half of its 2024 fiscal year, mainly due to the decline in whiskey and Tequila.

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