The board of directors of Bacardi Limited announced Facundo L. Bacardi has been elected chairman of the board effective immediately, completing the company's chairman succession plan. Bacardi has served as vice chairman of the board for three years and has been a director of Bacardi Limited since 1993. He is the great-great grandson of the company founder, Don Facundo Bacardi Masso, who created the company in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba.
Bacardi follows Ruben Rodriguez, chairman since 2000 and who retired as chairman but will remain an active member of the board of directors. Previously, the board announced both Rodriguez's plans to retire and the intent of the board to elect Bacardi as its ninth chairman in the company's 143-year history.
"I'm honored to be elected chairman of the board. Bacardi Limited has a rich history, which I proudly share from a personal and professional level. My focus will be to drive continued growth and maintain the high caliber of our excellent portfolio of premium products," said Bacardi. "We're fortunate to have Andreas Gembler, a strong CEO with the right experience to move the business forward. I look forward to supporting Andreas and the company's management team, and I welcome the opportunity to lead the board in this new role."
In the past, Bacardi has been a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee, chairman of the Corporate Strategy and Finance Committee, and chairman of the Search Committee.
Rodriguez said, "I have known and worked with Facundo for 10 years and am confident he will keep Bacardi on a continued path of success for the future." Under Rodriguez, the company says, Bacardi saw unprecedented growth in sales and earnings, strengthened its corporate governance and oversaw the successful acquisition of two core brands -- Grey Goose vodka and Cazadores blue agave tequila, rounding out the portfolio of premium brands.
The board of directors of Bacardi Limited also announced it has appointed Adolfo L. Danguillecourt and Barry E. Kabalkin as vice chairmen, effective immediately.
Danguillecourt is a member of the Bacardi family and has served as a director of Bacardi Limited since 2001. He currently serves as chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee.
Kabalkin served as executive vice president of Bacardi Limited from 1997 to 2000 and orchestrated the company's $2 billion acquisition of Dewar's Scotch whisky, Bombay Sapphire and Bombay gin in 1998. He rejoined Bacardi Limited as a director in 2004. Kabalkin is also the managing director of Pitts Bay Partners in Washington, DC.