Distell will change MD at the end of the year

Distell will change MD at the end of the year

Distell has appointed a new group managing director who will step in to the role when Jan Scannell retires at the end of the year.

Richard Rushton, who is president of SABMiller's Colombian subsidiary Bavaria, will take over at Distell on 1 November, Distell said this week. SABMiller owns a 30% stake in South Africa-based Distell, a company spokesperson told just-drinks today (1 August).

Distell chairman David Nurek described Rushton as having a “deep understanding of the liquor industry in Southern Africa, Africa, Asia and Latin America”. Rushton has been head of Bavaria since 2011, the SABMiller spokesperson said.

Scannell, who will leave Distell in December, has been with the company for 34 years, the past 13 as MD, according to Bloomberg's Business Week.

In April, Distell moved further into the Scotch category with the US$244m purchase of Burn Stewart Distillers.