Alexandre Ricard will become CEO of Pernod Ricard in January

Alexandre Ricard will become CEO of Pernod Ricard in January

I am en-route to Cork this morning, to attend Pernod Ricard's annual Capital Markets Day. Tomorrow, I will join a wealth of analysts at a series of presentations by the company's leadership team. As well as Jameson (this is Ireland), we will hear from the heads of Pernod's operations in the US, Eastern Europe & Russia, sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil and Japan.

Also, CEO Pierre Pringuet will be making his last appearance at this event, with his replacement, Alexandre Ricard, set to joint-host proceedings.

You may remember I interviewed Ricard at last year's CMD in Beijing. Back then, we were too far out from the leadership change in January next year for me to quiz him on his intentions. This week, however, we expect to see him begin to venture out of his shell somewhat.

Ricard has already won over some of the analyst community. “We remain admirers of chairman/CEO-elect Alex Ricard,” says Ian Shackleton from Nomura in a note this week. “(He) is already becoming more visible in the business.

“We regard him as the driving force behind much of the innovation/digital strategy set out at the January Innovation Day, as well as being instrumental in the new cost-cutting programme (announced in February).”

Indeed, his length of service with Pernod - as well as heading up both Pernod Ricard Asia Duty Free and the company's Irish Distillers division, he has also been group MD for distribution - suggests he has had plenty of time to formulate his CEO plans.

Cometh the hour, then, cometh the man?