The chairmanship of the Scotch Whisky Association carries a fixed term, hence todays change

The chairmanship of the Scotch Whisky Association carries a fixed term, hence today's change

The Scotch Whisky Association has lined up the chief executive of The Edrington Group to replace Diageo's CEO as its chairman.

Ian Curle, who became vice chairman of the Scotch trade body when Walsh became chairman almost four years ago, moves up to the chair, with Pernod Ricard's CEO, Pierre Pringuet, becoming the new vice chairman. Curle, who has been with Edrington since 1986 and chief executive since 2004, will lead the SWA into its centenary year next year.

“It has been a great pleasure and a privilege to chair the SWA over the past four years,” said Walsh.

Curle added: “I am delighted to be taking over as chairman of the SWA at a time when the Scotch whisky industry is in confident mood. I’ll work to protect the integrity of Scotch whisky across the globe and to advance its export success.”

Future priorities for the SWA will include completion of the negotiations between the European Union and India on a Free Trade Agreement that would reduce the import tariff for Scotch, the SWA noted.

The announcement today (2 December) coincided with the release of export figures for Scotch in the first nine months of 2011.