Mahesh Madhavan

Mahesh Madhavan officially takes over as chief executive officer of Bacardi. (businesswire.com photo)

Bacardi Limited, among the largest privately held spirits companies in the world, Oct. 2 announced that 20-year Bacardi veteran Mahesh Madhavan has officially taken over the reigns of chief executive officer.

Madhavan, who replaces retired Michael J. Donaltakes, was announced as the CEO successor in March. He will be based at the company’s global headquarters in Bermuda.

“With more than 20 years at Bacardi, in different roles in different geographies, Mahesh has a tremendous track record of success. He inherits a business that is in great shape, with a healthy balance sheet, revitalized brands, and an engaged team of employees. Mike and Mahesh have worked closely to carry out the succession smoothly, and the Board is delighted with the progress they achieved,” Facundo L. Bacardi, chairman of family-owned Bacardi Limited, said in a statement.

In his career with Bacardi, Madhavan, who is originally from Kerala, has led the company’s Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa operations where he was charged with building stronger connections between the iconic brands in the Bacardi portfolio and consumers in those regions, the company said in a news release.

Also during his tenure, Madhavan has held leading roles in various fast-growing emerging markets including managing director of India, managing director for Thailand and the Philippines, and managing director of South Asia and Southeast Asia. He has also led the company’s emerging market council.

Additionally, the new CEO announced two appointments, naming John Burke as global chief marketing officer of Bacardi and president of Bacardi Global Brands Ltd., and Ignacio del Valle

regional president of the Latin America and Caribbean region.

“These internal appointments showcase our deep bench of seasoned talent and leadership within Bacardi and further demonstrates the company’s dedication to nurturing and growing our talented leaders,” Madhavan said in a statement.

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