Pernod Ricard’s brief search for a new UK managing director came to a close this week with the appointment of Denis O’Flynn.
O’Flynn, currently MD of Pernod’s Dublin-based subsidiary Irish Distillers, will take the reins from 17 October. Irish Distillers owns Jameson Irish whiskey and also produces Irish spirit brands Powers, Cork dry gin, Paddy and Huzzar.
His appointment follows the unexpected resignation of David de Mardt, who was due to assume the head UK role last month but quit for family reasons.
O’Flynn graduated from University College Dublin with a BSc in microbiology in 1982 and worked for Diageo in various roles before joining Irish Distillers in 1998 as human resources director for the production division. He became HR director for the wider group the following year before assuming the position of commercial director for Ireland and then MD in July this year.
He will report to Laurent Lacassagne, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Europe, and will be a member of the company’s Europe regional executive committee.
Pernod Ricard has also appointed finance and development director John Leburn as its new CFO for Corby Distilleries in Canada from 1 November. Leburn will be based in Toronto and will be a member of the management committee, reporting to Corby Distilleries MD Patrick O’Driscoll.
Finance director Julia Massies will assume full responsibility for Pernod’s UK finance function as part of the reshuffle.
Last month, Pernod Ricard reported a 10% rise in full-year group net profits to the end of June, thanks to higher sales in emerging markets and a strong US performance by whiskey brand Jameson.
Pernod UK is focusing strongly on its premium portfolio of wine and spirits in the run-up to Christmas, including a new push for premium wine brand Campo Viejo. Last month, it extended its range of smaller formats, with two new 35cl additions under the Beefeater and Glenlivet whisky brands.