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Exclusive: William Grant & Sons Names Paul Basford To Lead Its U.S. Business

May 4, 2021

William Grant & Sons has appointed Paul Basford president and managing director of its U.S. business, effective May 24. Harvey Purchese, who had been serving as interim managing director for the U.S., will now resume his role as senior vice president, marketing, North America.

Basford was appointed by Jonathan Yusen, who was recently promoted to chief officer, network distribution companies at William Grant & Sons globally. Basford’s career includes general management, business development, and commercial roles, initially with Diageo in the U.K. and then in the U.S. and Australia with Britvic Soft Drinks. Most recently he was general manager of Danone’s North American waters organization.

“Paul joins us just as we’re building key lessons from the last year into our U.S. business,” Yusen told SND. “With a foundation of a strong portfolio that has proven resilient through the pandemic, a world-class team who have demonstrated remarkable flexibility in a dynamic environment, and exceptional partners in the trade, this is the perfect time to complement our foundation with Paul’s range of experience as the country continues to open up, as consumers return to the on-premise more widely, and as we look to delight our consumers wherever they desire our brands.”

Among William Grant’s key brands in the U.S., the company saw double-digit depletion growth last year for Milagro Tequila, Reyka vodka, and Monkey Shoulder Scotch whisky, as well as rising volumes for Sailor Jerry and Flor de Caña rums and Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey. Overall, William Grant & Sons has annual volume of above 3 million cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

“I’m relishing the prospect of helping guide the U.S. business through the market’s continued recovery from the impact of coronavirus and into the next phase of our growth as an independent family-owned business,” said Basford.—Daniel Marsteller

William Grant & Sons’ Key Brands In The U.S.
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Brand Type 2019 2020 Percent
Sailor Jerry Rum 633 680 7.3%
Hendrick’s Gin 452 441 -2.3%
Milagro Tequila 293 349 19.0%
Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey 300 304 1.3%
Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch 210 185 -12.0%
Reyka Vodka 148 168 13.3%
Flor de Caña Rum 158 167 6.3%
Balvenie Single Malt Scotch 117 111 -5.4%
Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch 80 104 29.1%
Grant’s Blended Scotch Whisky 96 94 -1.4%
Total Key Brands2 2,487 2,603 4.6%
1 Based on unrounded data
2 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
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