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Brown-Forman announces executive changes

Diane Nguyen will take over as chief people, places and communications officer for Brown-Forman in August.

Diane Nguyen will take on the new role from August

Nguyen’s appointment will be effective from 1 August, just ahead of the retirement of the current chief people, places and communications officer Kirsten Hawley.

Lawson Whiting, president and chief executive officer, Brown-Forman, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Diane to the role of chief people, places and communications officer and to our executive leadership team.

“Her human resources experience, strategic talent management expertise, dedication to our culture, and cross-cultural business acumen make her an exceptionally well-suited leader for this role.”

Nguyen is currently the senior vice-president, human resources director, global commercial and corporate teams. Her tenure with Brown-Forman spans 16 years.

In her new role, Nguyen will make and implement strategies to build the culture, people, processes and structures needed to achieve Brown-Forman’s strategic goals.

Furthermore, she will manage corporate communications and workplace strategy, ensuring they reflect and reinforce the company’s values and business objectives.

Kirsten Hawley will retire on 9 August

Hawley, who will retire on 9 August, has been with Brown-Forman since 1997. She has held a number of positions in human resources in her almost three decades-long career at Brown-Forman.

Among her various roles, Hawley was appointed chief human resources officer in 2015. In 2019, this position expanded to include responsibility for global corporate communications.

Recently, Hawley took on responsibility for the company’s global real estate portfolio and best practices in workspace solutions.

Whiting said: “Kirsten has been a trusted advisor who has helped evolve Brown-Forman’s organisation to thrive for the next generation. She has been instrumental in championing our values and culture, developing leaders and teams, and introducing policies and programmes that have positively impacted organisational performance.

“Among her greatest legacies are creating and implementing a people strategy that helped guide our organisation through ongoing global expansion, stewarding our culture during a global pandemic and its aftermath, and further strengthening our corporate brand. We wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement.”

Brown-Forman’s portfolio includes brands such as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Woodford Reserve and Diplomático Rum. 

Earlier this month, former CEO of the company William Lee Lyons Brown Jr died at the age of 87.

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