Central European location, business climate and multilingual workforce reasons for choice of Netherlands as base for company’s consolidated European team
Brown-Forman Corporation announced today that it will establish a new head office for its European operations in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, effective January 1, 2014. Brown-Forman’s corporate headquarters will remain in Louisville, KY.
The opening of the European head office follows significant recent activity in the region, including the consolidation of the company’s Western Europe and Greater Europe organizations into a single pan-European operation on January 1, 2013. Brown-Forman also created a fully integrated German company in 2010, formed its own distribution company in Turkey in 2012, and will establish a new distribution company in France in January 2014. It also owns and operates distribution companies in Poland and the Czech Republic. In total, Europe accounted for 30% of Brown-Forman’s total net sales in fiscal 2013.
“We’ve spent a significant amount of time evaluating how to best structure and where to locate management oversight of this important region so that we can work more effectively and efficiently in driving results that will help Brown-Forman achieve its strategic B-F 150 goals,” said Mark McCallum, executive vice president of Brown-Forman, who is responsible for the company’s business in Europe, Africa, India, Asia Pacific, and Travel Retail. “We believe locating our European leadership team and key functional leaders together in Amsterdam will help this important region sustain its healthy growth rates and contribute more to Brown-Forman’s future prosperity.”
Brown-Forman will also relocate its Finlandia Global Brand Team to Amsterdam from Louisville, KY. “The growth of our vodka portfolio – and Finlandia in particular – is a vital part of our B-F 150 strategy,” said Lawson Whiting, senior vice president and chief brands officer for Brown-Forman. “With more than 80% of Finlandia’s business sourced in Europe, it makes sense to put our global Finlandia leaders closer to their largest consumer base and to where the vodka is produced in Finland.”
By January, Thomas Hinrichs, senior vice president and managing director of Brown- Forman’s Europe operations, and other key members of the company’s European leadership team will move to Amsterdam from Hamburg, London, Paris, Prague, and Louisville. In addition, Carmen d’Ascendis, senior vice president and managing director of Brown-Forman’s vodka business, and other key leaders of the Finlandia Global Brand Team will relocate to Amsterdam from Louisville, KY. Ultimately, the company expects to have approximately 40 employees based in Amsterdam, although it will probably take a few years before that number is achieved.
McCallum said Brown-Forman chose Amsterdam as the head office for the company’s recently consolidated European team because it is centrally located with easy access to the rest of Europe and other international markets. The Netherlands also provides an excellent business climate and a well-educated and multi-lingual workforce.
For more than 140 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Canadian Mist, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, New Mix, Tuaca, and Woodford Reserve. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by nearly 4,000 employees and sold in approximately 160 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit http://www.brown-forman.com.
September 27, 2013
Source: press release Brown-Forman Corporation