Italian spirits producer Gruppo Montenegro has appointed former Stoli Group CEO Rob Cullins as its North America head.

Cullins, who stepped down from Stoli in October 2016 after less than two years as chief executive, will take on the new position immediately, Montenegro said today.

In the new role he will unite with fellow ex-Stoli Group executive Marco Ferrari, who was made CEO at Montenegro in 2014 after serving four years as the Stolichnaya vodka owner's CMO.

Commenting on Cullins' appointment, Ferrari said: "The US market is one of our key growth drivers and North America is critical for our company. Rob's experience and leadership at the helm of our brands in North America will drive the achievements and successes we've set out to accomplish."

A spokesperson for Montenegro told just-drinks that Cullins' position has been newly-created as a "result of the strong growth of the brand's portfolio, specifically Amaro Montenegro and Aperitivo Select", in North America.

Cullins has worked for a number of major spirits companies, including Maxxium, Southern Wines and Spirits, E & J Gallo and Diageo. Shortly after leaving Stoli Group, he was appointed global spirits advisor at Perfect Brands Capital Partners.

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