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US: SPI Group appoints ex-Bacardi exec for new US chief role

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SPI Group has coaxed the former head of Bacardi’s North American operations out of retirement to lead its US unit.

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John Esposito, who retired in 2011, will start as president of SPI’s US division from Monday, the Stolichnaya owner said late yesterday (24 January). When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for SPI confirmed that the US president position has been newly created following the firm’s decision last year to drop William Grant & Sons as its US distributor and set up its own import company.

“John will initially work closely with William Grant & Sons … to ensure a smooth transition of the brand,” the spokesperson said.

Prior to his time with Bacardi, which he joined in 2006, Esposito held the posts of CEO at Moët Hennessy USA, president at Schieffelin & Somerset and president of Premier Beverage in Florida.

SPI will start to manage its US portfolio directly at the beginning of next year.


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