Beam Global Spirits & Wine named Kevin George CMO and SVP, effective September 28. He will oversee global brand strategy development and consumer insights and build programs for the brand’s portfolio, which includes Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Sauza, Cruzan, Courvoisier, Canadian Club, Effen, DeKuyper and Laphroaig.
George will succeed Rory Finlay. Previously, George worked for 13 years at Unilever, most recently as VP and GM of its deodorants and hair care business unit. He is credited for making the unit the fastest growing Unilever business in the US.
Prior to joining Unilever, George spent seven years at Seagram Americas, where he held sales and marketing positions for the Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Chivas Regal and Absolut brands.
Beam also announced on September 22 that it will not sponsor NASCAR‘s Sprint Cup Series next year. Bill Newlands, president of Beam Global Spirits & Wine US, said in a statement that after an extensive review of its marketing strategy, Beam had to find new alternatives to fuel growth in 2010.
Beam declined to comment other than issuing a statement.