Top people moves in drinks: August-September

Lee Applbaum, CMO, Surterra Wellness

Patrón’s Lee Applbaum has made the move from super-premium spirits to the fast-growing cannabis wellness industry

In September, Lee Applbaum, the former chief marketing officer for Patrón Tequila and Grey Goose vodka, joined Atlanta-based cannabis firm Surterra Wellness as its CMO.

Medical marijuana startup Surterra Wellness is one of America’s fastest-growing wellness companies offering a variety of cannabis-based products, from vapourizer pens and tinctures to oral sprays, creams, patches and gels.

Applbaum left his role at Patrón and Grey Goose at the end of August and will work with Surterra’s leadership team to “build iconic cannabis brands” that “improve the wellbeing of consumers”.

Applbaum will lead the group’s global marketing, product innovation, retail and sales initiatives.

“Lee is one of the most extraordinary brand builders in the business and having him join our executive leadership team is a big win for Surterra,” said Wrigley.

“As an accomplished senior marketing expert, Lee is exceptional at branding products in ways consumers connect with authentically, engaging with consumers at the right moments, and making the complex simple – all critically important in the cannabis business.

“Lee also shares our consumer-first mindset and our aim to be the gold standard in the business,” he added.

“Surterra is creating the blueprint for leadership in the cannabis space based on a strong ethos, which I immediately identified with having come from brands with a heritage of ethos.

“I’m excited to make the leap from luxury spirits to the dynamic cannabis industry because of Beau Wrigley’s vision for Surterra and the industry,” said Applbaum.

“I’m honoured to join a team of the most experienced and game-changing leaders of global iconic companies and brands to create innovative cannabis products and authentic brands that will make a big impact on the wellbeing of consumers,” he added.

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