Jim Beam makes Trent Chapman top Aussie marketer

By Rosie Baker | 17 January 2014
Suntory Time: Beam acquisition prompts restructure.

Beam Group, the owner of Jim Beam and Canadian Club, has named Trent Chapman as marketing director as part of a restructure following the company’s acquisition by Japanese drinks maker Suntory.

Suntory made a bid to acquire the North American spirits brand earlier this week for US$16bn. The deal is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2014 .

The organisational restructure, which will also see a new chief operating officer, financial director and sales director put in place, was already on the cards for later this year but has been accelerated by the takeover.

Chapman formerly brand director for the Canadian Club brand will take on the top Australian marketing role immediately.

Beam Group is also shifting its global strategy for the Canadian Club brand so that its global marketing strategy brand is run out of the Australia, following the success of the brand's rejuvenation in the last three years. It now sells more Canadian Club in Australia than in Canada. The global strategy will be lead by James Sykes, Beam's Asia Pacific regional marketing director.

Beam also owns the Laphroaig whisky, Courvoisier and Makers Mark brands. Suntory owns Japanese whisky brand Yamazaki and also acquired the Ribena and Lucozade soft drink brands from GlaxoSmithKline last year.

Beam's president and chief executive officer Matt Shattock and the management team in place at its US head office will continue to lead the global business.

Suntory was made famous in popular culture by Bill Murray in the film Lost in Translation, where he featured in an ad for the company repeating the line: “For a relaxing time make it Suntory time.”

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