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SWA appoints new chair

Jean-Etienne Gourgues, the chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, has been appointed as chair of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) council.

Jean-Etienne Gourgues SWA council chair
Gourgues has been chairman at Chivas Brothers since 2021

The chair role was previously held by Diageo.

Mark Kent, chief executive of the SWA, said: “We are pleased to welcome Jean-Etienne as council chair during a crucial time for the Scotch whisky industry.

“The sustainability of our sector – whether that’s working to meet net-zero ambitions, ensuring the long-term market share of Scotch in global markets, or building skills in our current and upcoming workforce – is of huge importance for Scotch whisky producers of all sizes.

“Jean-Etienne’s guidance and focus in this key area will be of great value to our sector as we navigate the coming years, and the SWA and its council look forward to working with him and the wider industry to drive those priorities.”

Each chair is appointed for two years and heads the council, which comprises 16 representatives from SWA member companies.

The council meets four times a year to support the Scotch industry’s priorities on behalf of its members.

Gourgues was appointed chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, Pernod Ricard’s Scotch whisky arm, in July 2021.

Gourgues said: “The SWA has been instrumental in transforming Scotch into a global success. Now more than ever, it’s vital that we work together as an industry to meet common challenges, recognising that we can achieve more through collaboration than we can by standing alone.

“I look forward to working with my fellow council members to secure a bright future for Scotch, taking forward all we’ve learned [over] the past 200 years to pave a sustainable, responsible path ahead.”

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