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EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Facundo Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Ltd.

June 10, 2014

Facundo L. Bacardi, great-great-grandson of Bacardi Ltd. founder Don Facundo Bacardi Massó, has served as chairman of the board of Bacardi Ltd. since 2005. Although he rarely gives interviews, Bacardi recently sat down for an exclusive, in-depth conversation with Marvin R. Shanken, chairman of M. Shanken Communications.

In the wide-ranging exchange, published in the June 1&15 issue of Shanken’s Impact Newsletter, Bacardi articulates the company’s role in the global spirits business and describes the dynamics of the Bacardi family ownership. Among the issues discussed is Bacardi Ltd.’s search for a new permanent CEO, following the retirement of Ed Shirley in April.

Another key element to the Bacardi story, of course, is the family’s Cuban heritage. The Bacardi family fled Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959, after its assets were seized by the Castro government. In his conversation with Shanken, Bacardi stakes out his position on the long-running U.S. trade embargo of Cuba. He also discusses the Bacardi family’s hope of returning to Cuba and what that might mean for the company.

“The vision of the family and the company is to come full circle. We will be back in Cuba, and we will invest beyond what it will take just to build the brand,” Bacardi asserts. “We see Cuba as our home. We have every intention of going back, rebuilding our business and helping the Cuban people.”

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