Beam Global Appoints Kevin George Global Chief Marketing Officer
Deerfield, Illinois, September 21, 2009 – Beam Global Spirits & Wine, the premium spirits business of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), today named Kevin B. George as senior vice president and global chief marketing officer, effective September 28, 2009.
In joining Beam Global, George, 42, returns to the spirits industry after 13 years at Unilever. George is currently vice president and general manager of Unilever’s deodorants and hair care business unit, one of Unilever’s three U.S. businesses with leading brands such as AXE, Degree, Dove and Suave. In the past four years, George established the deodorant business unit as the fastest growing Unilever business in the U.S. As director of marketing, deodorants from 2003-2005, he played a key role in the launch of Axe Bodyspray in North America, which became the #1 male deodorant in the market. Prior to joining Unilever, George spent seven years in the spirits industry at Seagram Americas, where he held key sales and marketing positions for premium brands such as Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Chivas Regal and ABSOLUT.
At Beam Global, George will be responsible for global brand strategy development, consumer insights, and working with in-market teams to activate impactful brand building programs for the company’s spirits portfolio, which includes major brands such as Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark Bourbons, Sauza tequila, Cruzan rum, Courvoisier Cognac, Canadian Club whisky, EFFEN vodka, DeKuyper cordials and Laphroaig single-malt Scotch.
“I’m excited that Kevin George will be joining Beam Global to lead our global marketing team,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam Global. “With his two decades of experience driving business growth for consumer packaged goods companies, passionately building power brands, and developing innovative strategies to connect with consumers, Kevin has what it takes to propel our marketing capabilities to the next level.”
George will succeed Rory Finlay, who has decided to leave Beam Global after nearly three years with the company.
“All of us at Beam Global appreciate Rory’s many important contributions to the company and our brands,” said Shattock. “Rory was instrumental in developing our brand-building vision, sharpening our focus on consumer insights, implementing new ways of marketing, and helping develop and launch successful new products, such as Sauza Margarita in a Box, (rī)1 Whiskey, DeKuyper Burst Bar Shots and Red Stag by Jim Beam, which has become one of the hottest new spirits products in years. Rory told me some time ago that he felt the time was right to move on, and I appreciate that he agreed to stay on and help us transition to new marketing leadership. We all wish Rory nothing but the best in his next endeavor.”
Kevin George is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. He and his family reside in the Chicago area.