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Beam Suntory appoints North American head

Maker’s Mark owner Beam Suntory has named Carlo Coppola the new president of its North America operations.

Beam Suntory
Coppola will succeed Jessica Spence

Coppola’s appointment as president of North America will be effective from 29 April.

Coppola most recently served as Beam Suntory’s president of American whiskey and Tequila, where he managed profit and loss (P&L) for the company’s Bourbon portfolio, including Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, and its Tequila, including El Tesoro, Tres Generaciones and Hornitos.

He has also been managing director of the James B Beam Distilling Company brand house and served as US chief commercial officer.

Greg Hughes, president and CEO of Beam Suntory, said: “With a career spanning across US commercial, finance and global brands over the past 20-plus years, Carlo brings strong commercial acumen, in-depth customer and consumer knowledge, and deep understanding and passion for our brands and people to our largest market.”

Coppola will report to Hughes and join the company’s executive leadership team.

Commenting on his new role, he said: “I’m looking forward to returning to the North America market team. We have a strong foundation in place, and we are only just getting started on realising the full potential of our portfolio in this region.”

Coppola will be taking over the president position from Jessica Spence, who has decided to pursue other opportunities, Beam Suntory said. Spence moved to the firm in 2019, having jumped ship from Carlsberg.

Hughes thanked her for service: “We are grateful to Jessica for all she has done to help transform and build Beam Suntory during this critical period of growth and wish her well in her next endeavour.”

Beam Suntory recently posted a 7% sales growth in 2023, which was attributed to double-digit gains for its premium Bourbons and Japanese whiskies.

The company also announced that its decades-long distribution agreement with Edrington in the UK will end on 31 January 2025, with Beam Suntory setting up its own commercial business in the market.

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