Patrick Ricard, Who Transformed Pernod Ricard Into Global Juggernaut, Dies At 67August 20, 2012
Patrick Ricard, who transformed Pernod Ricard into a global drinks giant, died suddenly on Friday, August 17. He was 67.
In 1967, Ricard joined the French spirits company that had been founded by his father, Paul, 35 years earlier. In 1978, he became chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard (created when Ricard merged with fellow French spirits producer Pernod in 1975).
Over the next three decades, Ricard built the company into one of the world’s biggest spirits and wine marketers by engineering a series of major acquisitions. Pernod Ricard’s purchases included Irish Distillers and its Jameson Irish whiskey brand in 1988; Orlando Wyndham Group, producer of Jacob’s Creek, in 1989; the joint acquisitions of Seagram (with Diageo) in 2001 and Allied Domecq (with Fortune Brands) in 2005; and the 2008 purchase of Vin & Sprit, owner of Absolut vodka. The company’s deal-making was also accompanied by some formidable brand-building, most notably with Jameson and with deluxe Scotch whisky brand Chivas Regal.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Patrick Ricard,” said Marvin R. Shanken, chairman of M. Shanken Communications. “Watching Patrick build Pernod Ricard into a global powerhouse was a marvelous journey. He was a man of vision, a true gentleman and a great example to us all.”
By the time Ricard retired as CEO in November 2008, Pernod Ricard was the world’s second-largest premium spirits marketer and one of the five biggest wine companies. Ricard, who had remained chairman of Pernod’s board of directors for the past three years, is survived by his wife and three children.
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