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Scotch Whisky Association appoints Chivas Brothers CEO as chair

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has appointed Chivas Brothers chairman and CEO Jean-Etienne Gourgues as its new council chair.

Scotch Whisky Association appoints Chivas Brothers CEO as chair

Pernod Ricard’s whisky arm Chivas Brothers has succeeded Diageo as the SWA’s council chair.

Jean-Etienne Gourgues was appointed Chivas Brothers chairman and CEO in July 2021. He oversees a portfolio of whisky brands including Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet, and leads a team of 1,800 employees across 26 UK sites.

Appointment of a new SWA chair runs on a two-year rotational basis. Gourgues is the organisation’s 23rd chair, and will head the association’s council which is comprised of 16 representatives from SWA member companies. The SWA council meets four times a year to support and advise on the Scotch whisky industry’s strategic priorities on behalf of its members.

Mark Kent, chief executive of the SWA, welcomed Gourgues at what is a “crucial time for the Scotch whisky industry”.

He said: “The sustainability of our sector – whether that’s working to meet net zero ambitions, ensuring the long-term market share of Scotch in global markets, or building skills in our current and upcoming workforce – is of huge importance for Scotch whisky producers of all sizes.”

Kent concluded that Gourgues’s “guidance and focus in this key area will be of great value to our sector as we navigate the coming years”.

Jean-Etienne Gourgues commented: “The Scotch Whisky Association has been instrumental in transforming Scotch into a global success. Now more than ever, it’s vital that we work together as an industry to meet common challenges, recognising that we can achieve more through collaboration than we can by standing alone. I look forward to working with my fellow Council members to secure a bright future for Scotch, taking forward all we’ve learned the past 200 years to pave a sustainable, responsible path ahead.”

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