William Grant & Sons has hired Heineken executive Søren Hagh as its chief executive.
Hagh, most recently in charge of Heineken’s European business, will join the distiller in January.
He will take on the responsibilities of CEO from chairman Glenn Gordon.
A spokesperson for William Grant & Sons said: “There is no doubt that Søren will provide strong leadership for the company, as he brings a tremendous wealth of relevant experience to the business from his many years working in the drinks sector and with his substantial commercial and marketing experience building global consumer brands in a number of sectors.”
Hagh has spent a decade at Heineken. He was appointed president of the brewing giant’s European arm in June 2020. Before joining the Amstel brand owner, he worked for L’Oréal for just short of four years. Hagh’s experience in the drinks industry includes 18 months as group marketing director at Diageo.
Last month, William Grant – also home to Grant’s whisky and liqueur brand Drambuie – filed its accounts for 2022 with the UK’s Companies House.
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The business booked a 21.7% rise in annual turnover to £1.72bn ($2.08bn). Operating profit stood at £353.3m, versus £284.8m in 2021. Net profit was £331.3m, against £247.6m.
The accounts also stated Gordon was, as at 31 December 2022, “temporarily acting managing director until a replacement is recruited”.
William Grant’s accounts for 2021 and 2020 also carried that statement. In October 2020, Simon Hunt left William Grant after an almost-five-year stint as the group’s CEO. At the time, William Grant told Just Drinks Gordon and CFO Giles Wilson would assume his responsibilities in the interim.
In September this year, William Grant announced the acquisition of UK gin and vodka maker Silent Pool Distillers.
Set up by Ian McCulloch and James Shelbourne in 2014, Silent Pool’s “ultra-premium” gin is sold in more than 30 countries.
Silent Pool’s product portfolio includes its 43% abv namesake gin and Wry vodka. The company also markets gin and vodka under the Green Man Wildood brand, spirits sold in cardboard bottles.