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EXCLUSIVE: Furniss-Roe Stepping Down As President, Bacardi North America; Glazer’s Carr Appointed

August 18, 2014

Robert Furniss-Roe has stepped down as president of Bacardi North America, and will be replaced by Pete Carr, a Glazer’s executive. Furniss-Roe, 50, has been with Bacardi for 26 years, and has led the rum giant’s North American operations since 2011.

Carr joined Glazer’s in 2011 as executive vice president, overseeing the Diageo and Moet Hennessy USA division for the Dallas-based distributor. He was previously president, U.S. Open States for Diageo as well as president of Diageo-Guinness USA and president of Diageo’s Control States division. Carr, who has more than 20 years of beverage industry experience, began his career in Chicago as a sales representative for Romano Brothers Beverage Co.

The change at Bacardi North America comes as the parent company’s management is also in a state of flux. In May, Michael Dolan was named interim CEO of Bacardi Ltd. Dolan, formerly CEO of IMG Worldwide, was appointed to the interim post following the April retirement of Bacardi Ltd. president and CEO Ed Shirley. Dolan is serving at Bacardi’s helm until a permanent CEO is named. That was originally expected to occur within six months. However, indications are that the search for a permanent CEO may take longer.

While Carr is joining one of the leading U.S. spirits marketers, Bacardi’s top-selling brands have lagged behind the competition over the past few years. The flagship Bacardi rum brand was down by 5.7% to 9 million cases in the U.S. market in 2013, according to Impact Databank. Grey Goose vodka was down by 4.9% to 3.3 million cases last year. Meanwhile, Dewar’s, which was still the number-one Scotch brand in the U.S. as recently as 2000, now trails Johnnie Walker by around 500,000 cases.

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