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Bacardi's chief abruptly retires

Published:  09 April, 2014

Bacardi's chief executive Ed Shirley is to retire and will leave the role after just two years and with no successor named.

An interim chief executive will be announced "shortly", however until then the executive leadership team will report to Chairman Facundo L Bacardi, whose family started the business 152 years ago. The company did not elaborate on the on the swift departure of Shirley.

Bacardi is the world's largest producer of rum, under Bacardi rum, but owns other iconic brands including Grey Goose vodka, Martini Vermouth, Cazadores Tequila, Dewar's blended Scotch whisky and Bombay Sapphire gin. The company has over 200 labels in its portfolio.

The company, which has predominantly focused on white spirits, is reportedly looking to acquire a company which produces brown spirits, particularly with Bourbon whiskey and ryes to fill a gap in its portfolio, according to a recent Financial Times report.

Shirley joined the family-owned firm in 2012 from Procter & Gamble, where he was the vice chairman. Shirley's departure was announced the same day that Dewar's, a Bacardi brand, announced it was launching a new packaging campaign in the UK, Spain and Greece this month.