Brown-Forman has created an executive position to oversee its operations in northern Asia.

The US-based wine and spirits firm confirmed today (21 October) that Michael McShane has been appointed managing director, North Asia.

In the role, he will be responsible for the markets of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Guam, Japan, and South Korea.

McShane, who has most recently served as managing director for Brown-Forman's Australia and New Zealand unit, will assume the position from 1 February and will be based in Shanghai. He will commute between Sydney and Shanghai for the first few months of 2010, and relocate with his family thereafter.

"This appointment reflects the importance and growth potential of the markets of Asia," said Stuart Beck, vice president and managing director of Brown-Forman Asia Pacific. "I'm very excited by the prospects of the Asia Pacific business, and particularly North Asia under Michael's leadership."

McShane joined Brown-Forman in 1999 as finance director at Brown-Forman Beverages. He has since served in a variety of positions, becoming managing director, Australia and New Zealand in 2006.

An announcement regarding McShane's successor in Australia and New Zealand, will be made at a later date.