Mark de Witte is the new head of UK and Ireland operations at Bacardi-Martini.

De Witte is currently ­general manager for Bacardi Nederland, a position he has held since joining the company in 2000.

Prior to Bacardi, he worked in sales and marketing roles at Seagram Nederland.

Patrick Sauvageot, regional president for Europe, said: "Mark is an energetic and insightful executive who has led Bacardi to become the leading spirits company in The Netherlands. We look forward to his leadership in the UK and Ireland."

De Witte will replace John Beard, formerly the UK chief executive, who is leaving after a "transition period".

"We thank John for his dedicated and thoughtful leadership in the UK and his commitment to Bacardi for the past 24 years," said Sauvageot.

Beard has held several senior UK roles and made contributions in the emerging markets and in global travel retail, he added.