Brown-Forman said today that Mark McCallum has been named to succeed James Bareuther as the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer, from 1 May.

With 18 months until he retires, Bareuther has been appointed to the new position of executive vice president for global business development. He will continue to report to Brown-Forman CEO Paul Varga.

In the role, Bareuther will continue to serve on the company's senior leadership team and he will be responsible for Brown-Forman's work with key industry organisations in the global spirits and wine business.

He will be particularly active with The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS), The Century Council, and the Wine Institute, and will work very closely with the company's corporate affairs team on global trade policies and practices.

Bareuther, who will reach the company's mandatory retirement age in October 2010, has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the company since 2003. He has been with Brown-Forman since 1994.

McCallum will now be responsible for Brown-Forman's regional business activities across the globe. He, too, will report to CEO Paul Varga.

McCallum joined Brown-Forman in 2003 as chief marketing officer for its spirits brands and in 2006, he was promoted to chief brands officer, responsible for the global brand development and marketing for all of the company's spirits and wines brands.

Prior to joining Brown-Forman, McCallum spent 25 years in executive positions around the world with Darden Restaurants, Vlasic Foods International, the Campbell Soup Company, and General Foods/Cadbury Schweppes.

"Mark has done great work with our brands over the last five years and he has made significant contributions as an executive leader at Brown-Forman," said Varga.