Pernod Ricard CEO Alex Ricard is raising the companys focus on the US spirits market

Pernod Ricard CEO Alex Ricard is raising the company's focus on the US spirits market

Pernod Ricard has upped its focus on the US spirits market, through a "simplification" of its regional structure in the Americas, and has readied a raft of executive switches that sees several changes of divisional leader.

The company, which reported its half-year results earlier today, has confirmed to just-drinks that its Pernod Ricard Americas division will be split, between the newly-formed Pernod Ricard North America, and two southern units, each lead by Mexico and Brazil.

Pernod Ricard North America, which will concentrate on the US and Canada, will be led by Paul Duffy, the current CEO of The Absolut Co division. Duffy, who was CEO of Pernod Ricard USA between 2008 and 2012, will also assume this earlier position.

Meanwhile, in South America, two new "Management Entities" will be created: 

  • With Mexico as lead market, together with Venezuela, Colombia and Pernod Ricard Andes (Chile, Peru), and
  • With Brazil as lead market, together with Argentina and Uruguay.

Both units, which previously reported to Pernod Ricard Americas, will now report in to Pernod Ricard EMEA.

Further to the changes, the CEO of Pernod Ricard Americas, Philippe Dréano, will retire after 27 years with the group. Dréano will not be replaced.

At the same time, Pernod will consolidate its Global Travel Retail efforts, through the creation of a CEO role for the channel. Reporting in to headquarters, the new position will "reinforce coordination" between the three Travel Retail regions of Europe, Americas and Asia and Pernod's domestic Travel Retail teams. Mohit Lal will be the inaugural GTR CEO and will retain his current position as MD of Pernod Ricard Travel Retail Asia.

Finally, the following executive changes will take place: 

  • Bryan Fry, MD of Pernod Ricard USA, is appointed MD of Pernod Ricard Pacific. He will replace Julien Hémard whose new appointment will be announced "shortly"
  • Anna Malmhake, CEO of the Irish Distillers unit, will return to The Absolut Co, this time as CEO
  • Jean-Christophe Coutures, CEO of Pernod Ricard Winemakers, will replace Malmhake at Irish Distillers
  • Bruno Rain, MD in charge of group HR & CSR, will assume Coutures' role
  • Cédric Ramat, VP of HR for Pernod Ricard Americas, will replace Rain

The changes will all take effect from 1 July.