Brown-Forman to Establish New European Regional Head Office

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Brown-Forman to Establish New European Regional Head Office

Brown-Forman to Establish New European Regional Head Office
September 30
14:25 2013

US-owned spirits and wine group Brown-Forman will establish a new head office for its European operations in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, effective January 1, 2014. The opening of the European head office follows significant recent activity in the region, including the consolidation of the company’s Western Europe and Greater Europe organizations into a single pan-European operation on January 1, 2013.

Brown-Forman also created a fully integrated German company in 2010, formed its own distribution company in Turkey in 2012, and will establish a new distribution company in France in January 2014. It also owns and operates distribution companies in Poland and the Czech Republic. In total, Europe accounted for 30% of Brown-Forman’s total net sales in fiscal 2013.

“We’ve spent a significant amount of time evaluating how to best structure and where to locate management oversight of this important region so that we can work more effectively and efficiently in driving results that will help Brown-Forman achieve its strategic B-F 150 goals,” says Mark McCallum, executive vice president of Brown-Forman, who is responsible for the company’s business in Europe, Africa, India, Asia Pacific, and Travel Retail. “We believe locating our European leadership team and key functional leaders together inAmsterdamwill help this important region sustain its healthy growth rates and contribute more to Brown-Forman’s future prosperity.”

Brown-Forman will also relocate its Finlandia Global Brand Team to Amsterdam from Louisville in the US. “The growth of our vodka portfolio – and Finlandia in particular – is a vital part of our B-F 150 strategy,” says Lawson Whiting, senior vice president and chief brands officer for Brown-Forman. “With more than 80% of Finlandia’s business sourced in Europe, it makes sense to put our global Finlandia leaders closer to their largest consumer base and to where the vodka is produced in Finland.”

By January, Thomas Hinrichs, senior vice president and managing director of Brown-Forman’s Europe operations, and other key members of the company’s European leadership team will move to Amsterdam from Hamburg, London, Paris, Prague, and Louisville. In addition, Carmen d’Ascendis, senior vice president and managing director of Brown-Forman’s vodka business, and other key leaders of the Finlandia Global Brand Team will relocate to Amsterdam fromLouisville. Ultimately, the company expects to have approximately 40 employees based in Amsterdam, although it will probably take a few years before that number is achieved.

Brown-Forman has more than 25 brands in its portfolio of wines and spirits including: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Canadian Mist, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer,Chambord, New Mix, Tuaca, and Woodford Reserve.

Brown-Forman employs 4,120 people worldwide with about 1,000 located in Louisville. Brown-Forman ranks among the top 10 largest global spirits companies and sells its brands in more than 135 countries.

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