The leadership team at Beam Suntory, parent company of Maker’s Mark Distillery and Jim Beam Distillery, has been quite busy over the last month. A couple weeks ago, Beam Suntory Chairman & CEO Matt Shattock was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame and then a week after several other changes were announced including Maker’s Mark Master Distiller Greg Davis moving over to Jim Beam. We now know there was one more major change coming and the change goes to the very top of the company.
Albert Baladi to Take Over as CEO of Beam Suntory
Beam Suntory Chairman & CEO Matt Shattock has announced that he will transition CEO responsibilities effective April 2019 to Albert Baladi, the company’s current Chief Operating Officer & President – North America. Under this succession plan, Shattock will remain a member of the Beam Suntory Board as non-executive Chairman and a member of the Suntory Holdings Board.
Annual Sales Doubled from $2 to $4.3 Billion Under Shattock’s Leadership
As of April 2019, Shattock will have served as leader of the company for ten years, including five years since the Beam Suntory merger. Annual sales have grown to $4.3 billion from $2.0 billion thus far during his tenure.
“I couldn’t be prouder of what our team has accomplished over the past decade, and especially since the creation of Beam Suntory,” said Shattock. “Our business is outperforming globally, we’ve established robust long-term strategic growth platforms, and Beam Suntory’s prospects have never been stronger. I made the decision a while back that when these leadership milestones come next April – 10 years leading the company and five since the creation of Beam Suntory – it will be the right time to transition chief executive leadership to Albert. He’s been a key partner for the past seven years, he’s ideally suited to be our next CEO, and our succession plan to ensure continuity and a smooth transition will enable him to hit the ground running.”
“After seeing Albert in action over the past several years, I have complete trust in his capabilities to lead Beam Suntory successfully,” said Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings and Lead Director of Beam Suntory. “Suntory Holdings is grateful for Matt’s outstanding leadership, including how the company sustained its momentum during the acquisition and integration, and how it has outperformed the global spirits market each year as Beam Suntory. I look forward to working with Matt and Albert as we build on this legacy of success at Beam Suntory. Furthermore, Suntory Holdings counts on the continuous contribution of Matt’s knowledge and expertise for the advancement of our businesses.”
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Shattock has led the company through value-creating structural and cultural transformations, including as a subsidiary of Fortune Brands and completion of the integration of the Allied Domecq acquisition, during its successful phase as a publicly traded spirits company, and through its acquisition by Suntory Holdings, helping expand Suntory’s global presence through the subsequent successful integration of Beam with Suntory’s spirits business.
Albert Baladi has served as Beam Suntory’s Chief Operating Officer and President – North America since late 2017. Previously, he led the company’s International region. He joined Beam Suntory from Yum! Brands in 2011 as President of EMEA, before becoming President – International in 2015 when the company combined management of its EMEA and Asia Pacific businesses. Baladi has held positions of increasing responsibility throughout his 30-year career, including at Yum! Brands, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble. Baladi earned his preparatory degree from the Ecole Polytechnique Lausanne and received his business degree from HEC Lausanne, both located in Switzerland.
“I’m looking forward to building on the track record of sustainable, profitable growth established under Matt’s inspiring leadership,” said Baladi. “Our Vision Into Action growth strategy will remain our roadmap to the future as we pursue our objective of being the world’s fastest growing and most admired premium spirits company. Like Matt, I see it as my role to be a custodian of our extraordinary brand legacies, and I will consider it an honor and a privilege to lead our outstanding global team.”
“Having led both the North America and International regions, Albert is uniquely qualified to be our next CEO,” said Shattock. “Albert is a thoughtful, strategic and consumer-oriented leader who has inspired high performance from his teams to deliver market-beating results across mature and emerging markets, led the development of successful global activation platforms, and managed a variety of highly-valued distributor partnerships. Looking ahead, I couldn’t be more confident in the people of Beam Suntory and what they can achieve under Albert’s leadership in the future.”
Beam Suntory, created in 2014 is the world’s third largest premium spirits company. Beam Suntory brands include Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon, and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.
Stay tuned, Beam Suntory will identify Baladi’s successor as President – North America in the coming months.