Whyte & Mackay has named Bacardi UK boss John Beard as its new chief executive.

Beard joins the Scotch whisky maker after 19 years with Bacardi. He takes over at the helm from Ashwin Malik, who is returning to India.

The news continues a run of senior appointments for Whyte & Mackay, which was acquired in 2007 by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya’s UB Group in a deal worth £595m.

In January the distiller lured Nick Garland from Beam Global to become global sales and marketing director.

“I have been really impressed with Whyte & Mackay's performance and its commitment to building not only strong brands, but strong international brands,” said Beard.

“I have met Dr Mallya personally and there is no doubt in my mind that he is committed to this company, committed to building great premium brands and committed to making Whyte & Mackay a major international spirits company.”