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Exclusive: Stoli Group USA Promotes Rudy Costello To President And CEO

May 17, 2018

Industry veteran Rudy Costello, who was named chief operating officer of Stoli Group USA in February, has been promoted to president and CEO of the company, SND has learned. Costello will oversee both the U.S. and Canada and report to Stoli Group’s global CEO Hugues Pietrini, who has been serving as interim CEO of the North American business since former U.S. chief executive Patrick Piana departed earlier this year. Meanwhile, José Carvalho has been named chief financial officer of Stoli Group USA, reporting to Costello. Carvalho comes to Stoli from coconut water brand Vita Coco.

“Stoli Group USA is still a young company, and needed change,” says Pietrini, who joined the group a little over a year ago from Moët Hennessy, where he was executive vice president of international distribution. “We now have a great team, which is very motivated. That’s the first pillar in our new vision. Our ultimate goal is to be recognized as strong brand-builders in the U.S.”

Costello added, “Hugues has created an empowered, flexible company without walls that breaks convention and is truly energizing. As we continue to build our brands, drive growth across categories, and improve route-to-market strategies, we will maintain our fast, fearless, collaborative approach.”

During his short tenure with the group, Costello is credited with shepherding Stoli’s realignment of its control state and national accounts divisions, recruiting top talent into the organization, and spearheading new launches like Stoli Cucumber and Stoli Crushed Mango.

According to Impact Databank, Stoli’s flagship vodka was up 0.8% in the U.S. last year to 1.7 million cases. In recent days, the company unveiled an ambitious new global campaign aimed at reintroducing the brand to consumers in 20 international markets across television, digital, social, and print channels. Featuring work by artists including composer Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe, and director Rachel Morrison, the campaign is running under the tagline, “Loud and Clear,” and showcases “real people celebrating their unique identities and what drives them,” according to the company.

In addition to its namesake vodka, Stoli Group USA has expanded into a number of other categories in recent years with brands including Bayou rum, Kentucky Owl Bourbon, Loch Lomond Scotch whiskies, and most recently, Cenote Tequila. —Daniel Marsteller

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