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Beam Suntory appoints first President of Brands

Beam Suntory appoints first President of Brands

Beam Suntory has named Jessica Spence as the company’s first President of Brands.

The role replaces the CMO position at Beam Suntory and has more far-reaching influence, including collaborating with supply chain leaders to ensure products under development appeal to modern consumer tastes.

Spence will join Beam Suntory from Carlsberg Group, where she currently serves as Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer.

In this new role, Spence will have P&L responsibility for Beam Suntory’s largest global brands, and will work closely with the region presidents to lead the company’s global premiumisation agenda.

In addition to end-to-end global brand strategy, development and performance, Spence will lead global innovation and product R&D; emerging marketing technologies, tools and platforms; and integrated marketing communications and design.

“As we accelerate our path of premiumisation and pursue our long-term ambitions, we will focus on building global premium brands of scale that consumers love,” said Albert Baladi, President & CEO of Beam Suntory.

“Jessica is a true global enterprise leader with an impressive track record and the passion to match. With a powerful combination of brand-building leadership and commercial prowess, she is the perfect fit for this new role, for our strategic ambitions, and for our culture.”

Baladi said he was impressed by Carlsberg's recent move of “going back to their roots” to talk about the quality of their beers. That “really worked very well with where we are taking the company, which is a greater focus on quality,” Baladi noted.

Carlsberg recently reformulated its flagship lager in the UK, running a campaign in which it admitted that its old version was “probably not the best beer in the world,” which was a play on its classic tagline, “probably the best beer in the world." The brewer admitted in an advertising campaign to losing its way and focusing on quantity over quality.

Spence joined Carlsberg in 2012, and she currently leads Carlsberg’s global marketing, sales, insights, R&D and innovation functions.

She previously served as Carlsberg’s Senior Vice President Commercial based in Copenhagen, and in senior commercial and marketing roles for Carlsberg Asia based in Hong Kong.

Prior to joining Carlsberg in 2012, Spence held marketing roles of increasing responsibility for SABMiller in Russia, Slovakia and Poland, as well as in business development based in London. She also has prior experience with global advertising agencies Leo Burnett and J Walter Thompson.

Spence will join Beam Suntory in October and will report to Baladi.