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Brown-Forman Announces Chief Operating Officer Succession

Louisville, KY, February 25, 2009 – As a next step in a succession planning process that has occurred over the last several years, Brown-Forman announced today that long-term senior executive James L. Bareuther has been appointed to the new position of executive vice president for global business development, effective May 1.  He will continue to report to Brown-Forman Chief Executive Officer Paul Varga.  

In his new role, Bareuther will continue to serve on the company’s most senior leadership team and he will be responsible for Brown-Forman’s work with key industry organizations in the global spirits and wine business.  He will be particularly active with The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS), The Century Council, and the Wine Institute, and will work very closely with the company’s corporate affairs team on global trade policies and practices. 

Bareuther, who will reach the company’s mandatory retirement age in October 2010, has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the company since 2003.   He has been with Brown-Forman since 1994.

“This natural next phase in our succession process is something that Jim and I have been working on for some time, and with about 18 months until his retirement, we both believe this is a good time to take the step we are announcing today.” said Brown-Forman Chief Executive Officer Paul Varga.  “Jim has done a superb job over the years for both our company and our industry and we look forward to him continuing to play a strong leadership role over the next year and a half.”

Brown-Forman also announced that Mark McCallum has been named to succeed Bareuther as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective    May 1.  In his new role, McCallum will be responsible for Brown-Forman’s regional business activities across the globe.  He, too, will report to CEO Paul Varga.

McCallum joined Brown-Forman in 2003 as chief marketing officer for its spirits brands and in 2006, he was promoted to chief brands officer, responsible for the global brand development and marketing for all of the company’s spirits and wines brands.   Prior to joining Brown-Forman, McCallum spent 25 years in executive positions around the world with Darden Restaurants, Vlasic Foods International, the Campbell Soup Company, and General Foods/Cadbury Schweppes, PLC.

“Mark has done great work with our brands over the last five years and he has made significant contributions as an executive leader at Brown-Forman,” stated Varga.  “His breadth of international experience and commitment to producing the highest quality results will serve him well as our new chief operating officer.”

Brown-Forman Corporation is a producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Canadian Mist, Fetzer, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Tequila Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, Tuaca, Woodford Reserve, and Bonterra.

Important Note on Forward-Looking Statements:
This release contains statements, estimates, or projections that constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Generally, the words “expect,” “believe,” “intend,” “estimate,” “will,” “anticipate,” and “project,” and similar expressions identify a forward-looking statement, which speaks only as of the date the statement is made. Except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.  We believe that the expectations and assumptions with respect to our forward-looking statements are reasonable. But by their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that in some cases are out of our control. These factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from Brown-Forman’s historical experience or our present expectations or projections. Here is a non-exclusive list of such risks and uncertainties:

• Continuation of the U.S. or global economic downturn or ongoing  turmoil in world financial markets (and related credit and capital market instability and  illiquidity; decreased consumer and trade spending; higher unemployment; supplier, customer and consumer credit problems, etc.);
• pricing, marketing and other competitive activity focused against our major brands;
• continued or further decline in consumer confidence or spending, whether related to U.S. and global economic conditions, war, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other factors;
• tax increases, changes in tax rules (e.g., LIFO treatment for inventory), tariff barriers and/or other restrictions affecting beverage alcohol, whether at the U.S. federal or state level or in other major markets around the world, and the unpredictability or suddenness with which they can occur;
• limitations and restrictions on distribution of products and alcohol marketing, including advertising and promotion, as a result of stricter governmental policies adopted either in the United States or in our other major markets;
• fluctuations in the U.S. Dollar against foreign currencies, especially the British Pound, Euro, Australian Dollar, Polish Zloty and the South African Rand;
• reduced bar, restaurant, hotel and other on-premise business, including consumer shifts to discount stores and other price sensitive purchases and venues;
• longer-term, a change in consumer preferences, societal attitudes or cultural trends that results in the reduced consumption of our premium spirits brands or our ready-to-drink products;
• distribution arrangement changes in major markets that limit our ability to market or sell our products;
• adverse impacts as a consequence of our acquisitions, acquisition strategies,  integration of acquired businesses, or conforming them to the company’s trade practice standards, financial controls environment and U.S. public company requirements;
• price increases in energy or raw materials, such as grapes, grain, agave, wood, glass, and plastic;
• changes in climate conditions, agricultural uncertainties,  our suppliers’ financial hardships or other supply limitations that adversely affect supply, price, availability, quality, or health of grapes, agave, grain, glass, closures or wood;
• negative public media related to our company, brands, personnel, operations, business performance or prospects;
• counterfeit production, tampering, or contamination of our products and any resulting negative effect on our sales, intellectual property rights, or brand equity;
• adverse developments stemming from state or federal investigations of beverage alcohol industry marketing or trade practices of suppliers, distributors or retailers; and
• impairment in the recorded value of inventory, fixed assets, goodwill or other acquired intangibles.