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Bacardi names new CEO

Bacardi has a new President and CEO who will soon be moving to Bermuda.

Bacardi Limited, which is the largest privately held spirits company in the world, announced Friday that Ed Shirley, the former vice chairman of Procter & Gamble’s Global Beauty & Grooming division, will now head up the company from its world headquarters here in Bermuda.

Mr Shirley starts his new job with the liquor giant today, but is still waiting for approval from Bermuda Immigration before he can relocate to the island from Boston.

In an interview with Shanken News Daily, an industry publication focused on beer, wine and spirits, Mr Shirley says two things attracted him to Bacardi.

“First, spirits is a growth business, so that was an attraction. But I was also drawn to the Bacardi story,” he said. “They’ve been influencers and innovators in the industry for 150 years, having developed many cocktails to expand the industry the Bacardi Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, Piña Colada and Mojito, for example.”

Mr Shirley adds it’s not just the Bacardi label he’s focused on but also the company’s other brands like Martini & Rossi, Dewar’s Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose, Cazadores and its share in the Patrón business. And he says he’s excited about it all.

“I’d say North America will be a priority fuelling the expansion of Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire and developing winning portfolio strategies, as well as figuring out what we’ll do in order to win in emerging markets. I’m fired up.”

The 55 year old began his tenure at Proctor & Gamble in 2005 after it acquired Gillette, where he had worked for 27 years.

In his most recent roll as head of P&G’s beauty and grooming unit, Mr Shirley led a portfolio with $38 billion in sales and $6 billion in profits a portfolio that included brands like Gillette, Braun, Old Spice, Oral-B, Crest, Pantene and Olay as well as Hugo Boss, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana fragrances and SK-II luxury skin care.

Mr Shirley says he has worked in everything from sales and marketing to finance and supply chain management. During his tenure as Vice Chairman of beauty & grooming for Proctor & Gamble, he managed to stop the business from declining and delivered seven consecutive quarters of sales growth.

“We are fortunate to have Ed as our new CEO,” said Facundo L. Bacardi, the company’s chairman. “He brings to Bacardi a powerful combination of strong business experience, proven results and inspirational leadership.”

The announcement came as Seamus McBride, the company’s President and CEO since September 2008, announced his retirement. The transition is timed to coincide with the end of the company’s fiscal year on March 31.

In addition to being CEO, Mr Shirley will also serve as a member of Bacardi’s board of directors.

Mr Shirley arrives at Bacardi as the company celebrates its 150th anniversary. The company that Don Facundo founded in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba is now the third-largest spirits company in the world with more than 200 brands. Bacardi employs 65 employees here in Bermuda.

Incoming Bacardi CEO Edward Shirley

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Published March 12, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 12, 2012 at 9:29 am)

Bacardi names new CEO

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