2nd January, 2014 by Gabriel Stone
Charles Gordon, who played a decisive role in building the family-owned distillery business William Grant & Sons, has died aged 86.
Charles Gordon at the new Girvan distillery in 1964
A great-grandson of William Grant, who founded the Scotch whisky distilleries Glenfiddich and later Balvenie, Gordon was born in Glasgow in 1927 and became a director of the company in 1953.
During the next six decades of his involvement, Gordon oversaw a number of major developments in the firm’s product range and international business.
Highlights included the introduction of Glenfiddich’s triangular-shaped bottle in 1956, the building of a new distillery at Girvan in Ayrshire in 1963, an upmarket relaunch for The Balvenie, and the growth of Grant’s, which now claims to be the world’s third largest blended Scotch brand.
Gordon remained chairman of the company until 2008, when he was appointed Life President.
Paying tribute to his father, current chairman Glenn Gordon said: “We are all very proud of my father’s achievements in his very full and energetic lifetime, and give thanks for the legacy that he has left us with. He touched the lives of many, many people and will be sorely missed by all.
“In our family and our business, which my father always intertwined, he very much believed in a spirit of partnership. In his memory, we will continue to build this spirit, and with it our independent family business, for future generations.”
Stella David, CEO of the company, added: “On behalf of all of us at William Grant & Sons, we recognise the truly exceptional contribution Charles Gordon has made to our company. Indeed few people have made a greater contribution to the Scotch whisky industry over such an extended period of time.
“The company is fully committed to continue to build on Charles’ remarkable legacy. We pass on our sympathies to the Grant Gordon family.”