CMO Stella David to Leave Bacardi After 15 Years

Exec Helped Integrate Grey Goose Vodka Brand Into Spirits Giant's Portfolio

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Bacardi Chief Marketing Officer Stella David is leaving the company in July following a 15-year run.

Ms. David, who became CMO in 2005, is credited with helping the spirits giant manage the potentially tricky integration of Grey Goose vodka, which Bacardi purchased for $2 billion in 2004, into its portfolio. Grey Goose continued to grow at a blistering pace in the years following the acquisition, fueled by an unusually aggressive media plan for such a high-end beverage.

Ms. David also managed brand strategy on the company's other brands, including the iconic Bacardi rum, Bombay Sapphire gin and Dewar's whiskey. "Bacardi is a great company, and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of it for the last 15 years. It has great brands and great people who I will miss. I have the opportunity to consider a variety of business options, so it was the right time for me to make this decision," Ms. David said. The statement said she is considering opportunities but did not offer specifics.

Ms. David's departure follows last fall's appointment of former Colgate-Palmolive Exec VP Seamus McBride as CEO. Mr. McBride succeeded Andreas Gembler, who, like Ms. David, ascended to a C-level job in 2005.

"For 15 years, she has been a loyal and successful executive, and she will be missed. We thank her for her dedication to the company and brands and wish her every success," Mr. McBride said in a statement.

Bacardi said a successor will be named "in due course." Its agencies include Y&R, Radical Media, and 180.

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