Ed Shirley

Bacardi’s CEO Edward Shirley is to retire

Bacardi is looking for a new CEO after announcing the retirement of boss Edward Shirley.

The privately owned spirits giant announced today that Shirley, who joined Bacardi in March 2012 from Procter & Gamble, is to step down. It is intending to appoint an interim CEO to serve until a replacement is found, but until then, the board will report to chairman Facundo Bacardi.   

Barcardi said Shirley had helped reignite the global marketing of the company’s brands, with new campaigns for Bacardi rum, Dewar’s blended Scotch whisky, premium vodka Grey Goose and Martini. He also oversaw the acquisition of elderflower liqueur St Germain.

“Shirley leaves Bacardi a stronger organization from his dedication to the company and its brands,” Bacardi said.

In the last year the company has ramped up its marketing on its brands, launching a multi-million global campaign for its Bacardi rum brand which included a new logo, ‘blockbuster-style’ TV advertising, and a digital and out-of-home campaign. It also signalled a return to Formula 1, with the start of a multi-year partnership with the Williams motor racing team last month.

In October last year Bacardi launched its largest ever campaign for premium vodka brand Grey Goose and has just unveiled a rebrand of its blended Scotch whisky brand Dewar’s, which will roll onto shelves from this month.