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Exclusive: Campari America Taps Roy Danis For New Leadership Role In U.S. Market

November 21, 2012

Campari America has announced the appointment of industry veteran Roy Danis as country manager for the U.S. market and Puerto Rico. Danis starts work on December 3 and will be based at Campari America’s headquarters in San Francisco. He will report directly to Gerry Ruvo, CEO and managing director, North America at Campari America.

Danis has held numerous leadership positions in the drinks industry. He began his career at Seagram and later moved to Paddington-IDV (now Diageo), where he reported to Ruvo and ran the company’s eastern region. Danis then moved to Pernod Ricard USA as vice president of sales and marketing, and later became executive vice president at Deutsch Family Wines & Spirits. From there he was named president of Aveníu Brands, the U.S. marketing arm of Spanish Cava producer Grupo Codorníu. Since 2009, Danis has served as managing director-North America at Jose Cuervo International, overseeing the Cuervo portfolio and liaising with Diageo on brand strategies.

“Roy has worked with some terrific brands—going back to Seagram when it had Chivas, Crown Royal and other big names,” said Ruvo. “At Pernod Ricard he worked on Jameson, and also Wild Turkey before Campari acquired it. At Deutsch, he was part of the movement on Yellow Tail. So he’s got a diversified background and has risen through the ranks in a variety of sales and marketing roles.”

In terms of specific duties, Danis will manage the local teams in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and report in to Ruvo, who oversees those markets as well as Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. “We’ve been growing rapidly over the past decade, both organically and through acquisitions, starting with the purchase of Skyy (in 2002) and later Cabo Wabo, Wild Turkey and other brands,” said Ruvo. “We also recently announced the acquisition of Appleton rum. Bringing in another professional really extends our bench in North America.”

Commenting on Campari America’s progress for 2012, Ruvo was upbeat. “We’re about to close, in the next 45 days, on another very solid year right across the portfolio,” he said. “In the biggest and most competitive part of our business, Skyy vodka, we’re once again in the plus column—by only a few points, but in a very competitive vodka market, particularly on the pricing side. We have held our pricing, and we’re doing extremely well.”

Ruvo said the company’s other brands also are performing strongly. “We’re seeing mid- to high-single digit growth on most of the rest of our portfolio—on Skyy Infusions as well as our whiskies, including Wild Turkey and the single malts. We’re in double-digit territory on brands like American Honey and Campari, which has been a real star over the last two or three years. Americans have discovered Campari. Much of that is due to the Negroni and the terrific mixologists and bartenders who’ve helped us promote the brand. We’re also seeing solid growth in Tequila with Cabo and double-digit growth on Espolón Tequila. So across the business, it’s been a very solid year. We’re looking to continued progress in America—through organic growth, innovations and smart acquisitions when we can make them.”


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