William Grant & Sons has taken on a former member of Pernod Ricard's Stolichnaya Brand Organisation to become commercial director for the brand.

The family-owned company, which took over distribution for the brand from Pernod in several markets, including the US, last year, said today (20 July) that Jonathan Ashworth will move across to head up the commercial side for Stolichnaya.

Ashworth had been regional director for Rest of World, including Latin America, Gulf, South East Asia and Australasia for Stolichnaya. He will report in to William Grant's newly-appointed group marketing director Maurice Doyle, who joins the company next month.

Ashworth previously worked at Allied Domecq Duty Free as marketing director Global Duty Free and, before that, as group marketing manager for Allied's UK Spirits and Wine division.

William Grant was awarded US distribution rights for Stolichnaya, which is owned by Russian company SPI Group, in November. Then, in March, the deal was extended to cover The Netherlands, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos.