Beam Suntory Inc., the world’s 3rd largest premium spirits company including brands like Maker’s Mark Whisky, Jim Beam Bourbon, Laphroaig Scotch, Yamazaki, Pinnacle Vodka, Canadian Club and more, has appointed Greg Hughes General Manager, U.S., overseeing the entire U.S. of the marketing organization. With 23 years of consumer brands experience, Hughes is charged with accelerating market share growth and driving demand for brands like Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Hibiki and Courvoisier in the U.S.
In March 2015 H.J. Heinz Company and Kraft Foods Group merged to form The Kraft Heinz Company. The merger created the 3rd largest food and beverage company in North America and the 5th largest in the world. The combined new company expects to eliminate about 2,500 jobs or 5% of its total workforce.
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In this newly created role, Hughes will report to Beam Suntory Americas President Tim Hassett, effective August 17 and oversee vice presidents leading three key business areas:
- World Whiskey and Innovation
- and Mixables, such as vodka and tequila.
“Greg brings impressive marketing prowess, strategic thinking, commercial acumen and a track record of driving business results in large and small organizations,” Hassett said. “His broad functional experience is a unique mix of marketing, operations, supply chain and sales, which will be key in continuing our momentum in the Americas.”
Hughes joins Beam Suntory from The Kraft Heinz Company, where he served as Vice President of Marketing for the company’s Enhancers portfolio of just over one billion dollars, including Miracle Whip®, A-1®, and Kraft-branded products such as salad dressing, mayonnaise, and BBQ sauce.
Prior to Kraft, Hughes served as Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations and Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Bel Brands; comprised of The Laughing Cow®, Mini Babybel®, and Boursin® brands. Earlier in his career, Hughes served as Senior Director, Marketing, at Kraft, with responsibility for the company’s sandwich cheese products.
Hughes began his career at Procter & Gamble in roles of increasing leadership and responsibility before a stint in Romania with the United States Peace Corps. He holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. from the University of Kansas.