New SWA chairman pledges to strengthen industry

Pernod Ricard chief executive Pierre Pringuet has vowed to take the Scotch industry “from strength to strength” after becoming the new chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association.

Pringuet takes over from Edrington boss Ian Curle, who headed the trade body for three years, and will work with chief executive David Frost to grow Scotch as a brand at home and abroad.

Pringuet said: “I feel privileged to take over as chairman of the SWA and I’m committed to ensuring Scotch Whisky retains its position as an iconic product around the world. With its great brands and committed people, as well as the support of governments at home and abroad, the Scotch Whisky industry will go from strength to strength.”

Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, and Richard Burn, global policy and public affairs director of Diageo, are also join the SWA council.

The SWA also announced that Julie Hesketh-Laird has been appointed as its new deputy chief executive. She joined the SWA in 2005 as director of operational & technical affairs and she will continue in this role alongside her new position. 

The Association also announced it intends to sell its Atholl Crescent office and move to modern premises in Edinburgh next year, and to open a small permanent office in London to strengthen its impact there.

David Frost, SWA chief executive, said: “This is an exciting time for the SWA and the entire Scotch Whisky industry. The industry supports around 40,000 jobs across the UK and exports about £4 billion annually, but its success cannot be taken for granted. Economic headwinds and challenges, both domestically and in overseas markets, mean the work of the Association on behalf of the industry is of vital importance.”

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