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EXCLUSIVE: Bacardi Creates Centers Of Excellence To Bring Marketing Efforts Closer To Consumers

June 15, 2015

In an effort to bring its brand strategies closer to its key markets—and make them more relevant to consumers—Bacardi Ltd. has established Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in North America and Europe.

Each CoE will be headed by a chief marketing officer who will report to Bacardi Ltd. CEO Mike Dolan on the company’s global brands and to the respective regional presidents on regional marketing executions. Those CoEs will create assets and partner with a more agile Corporate Creative Excellence team as well the company’s external agencies in ensuring those assets are executed in locally relevant ways. The Bermuda-based Bacardi Ltd. will continue to review plans with teams and will finalize details in the coming weeks.

“Several months ago we consolidated our creative and media activity with BBDO and OMD. In addition, we are in the process of doing the same thing with our below-the-line spend,” said Dolan, who was named CEO of the family-owned Bacardi Ltd. in May 2014. “With these changes, will be able to adapt our focus to our brands and position ourselves to fully leverage the benefits of having a world class global agency and media partners.”

Mauricio Vergara will head Bacardi Ltd.’s new North America CoE, while Shayne Hoyne will be at the helm of the new Europe CoE.

In his new role, Vergara, who joined Bacardi in 2013 after holding a variety of marketing roles at Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, SAB Miller and Brown-Forman, will act as chief marketing officer, North America and global lead for the Bacardi and Grey Goose brands. He’ll be based at company headquarters in Hamilton, Bermuda, and will report to Dolan on global brand decisions and to North America regional president Pete Carr on regional issues.

Hoyne comes to Bacardi from William Grant & Sons, where he served as global brand director for Grant’s, Drambuie and Tullamore Dew. In his new role, he’ll act as chief marketing officer, Europe, and global lead for Martini, Dewar’s, William Lawson’s and Bombay. Hoyne, who spent more than a decade in senior roles at Heineken before joining William Grant & Sons, will report to Dolan on global brand decisions and to Europe regional president Paolo Perego on regional issues. He’ll be based in London.

Bacardi’s RTD and Tequila brands will continue being led from Shanghai and Mexico, respectively, and brand leaders will be named shortly.

Additionally, in order to best manage Bacardi’s global agency relationships, Zara Mirza assumes the role of head of creative excellence. She will be based in London and will report directly to Dolan. Since joining Bacardi last year, after serving as a partner and strategic business lead at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Mirza has been developing the next iteration of the “Untameable Since 1862” campaign in her role as global communications director for Bacardi.

As a result of these changes, Bacardi Ltd. global CMO Dima Ivanov has decided to leave the company. Ivanov took on the CMO post in January 2015, after nearly a decade in an array of executive roles at Bacardi.

“It has become increasingly clear that we have to change in order to win. And believe me, we are in this to win,” said Dolan. “We have world-class brands and agency partners. Now it’s about changing how we organize to give our people, partners and brands a real shot at success.”

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