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Lee Applbaum Steps Down As CMO Of Patrón And Grey Goose

July 30, 2019

Lee Applbaum, global CMO of Patrón and Grey Goose at Bacardi Ltd, will resign his position as of August 31. According to Bacardi, Applbaum is leaving to pursue outside opportunity and prioritize family time. Following his departure, he will serve as a special advisor to Bacardi’s board of directors.

Long the chief marketer of Patrón, Applbaum came to Bacardi last year through the company’s $5.1 billion acquisition of the luxury Tequila brand, and his purview was promptly extended to include responsibility for Grey Goose. Under Applbaum, Grey Goose recently unveiled a new “Live Victoriously” campaign. Last year, Patrón was up 3% to 2.4 million cases in the U.S. and Grey Goose increased 3.9% to 2.3 million cases, according Impact Databank.

Looking forward, Bacardi has begun its search for Applbaum’s replacement with a particular focus on external candidates from the luxury and lifestyle worlds. Applbaum’s replacement will work closely with Bacardi global CMO John Burke and have a position on the global leadership team. In addition to announcing Applbaum’s departure, Bacardi has promoted Adrian Parker—one of the key members of the Patrón team—to vice president, global marketing, for the brand. In his last role, Parker led Patrón’s digital marketing initiatives.—Shane English

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