David Cox to leave Brown-Forman in re-jig

David Cox will leave his position as head of Brown-Forman wines in Europe, as the group looks to re-structure its wines and spirits businesses.

Cox, who set up the wine division 13 years ago, said his departure was “amicable” and that a focus on premium brands meant he was leaving the business in “very good shape”.

Brown-Forman’s European marketing team, including director Simon Legge, will also be leaving, following the company’s decision to focus on “global marketing and local execution”.

Cox said two factors had led to the re-structure: “The first is that, in conjunction with some of Brown-Forman's 'developing' spirit brands, a decision has been made to centralise the marketing of our wine brands into Brown-Forman's head office in Louisville, Kentucky and secondly, the operational control of our wine business within Europe is, with the exception of the UK, being merged into our spirits operation.

“This falls in line with the coming together of our two businesses within the USA about 2 years ago.”

He told OLN that routes to market for wines in the UK would be largely unaffected by the change, and that wines would not become part of the partnership between B-F and Bacardi.

Cox will leave his post at the end of June. He said he would leave with “fond memories” and that he wished to continue working in the wine industry.

“I have enjoyed immensely working for Brown-Forman and believe that now we have implemented a new strategic direction for our wine brands, they are poised for profitable growth and will continue to grow, albeit within a new operating environment.”