Senior appointments announced at Irish Distillers

Published July 5, 2018
  • Claire Tolan appointed as Managing Director Ireland at Irish Distillers
  • Louise Ryan appointed Managing Director of Pernod Ricard’s dedicated global gin unit in London
  • Rosemary Garth named Chair of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland

Dublin, 5 July 2018 Irish Distillers, Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has today announced the appointment of Claire Tolan as Managing Director Ireland to replace Louise Ryan who takes up the position of Managing Director of Pernod Ricard’s global gin business unit, The Gin Hub, in London.

In her new role, Claire will be responsible for the distribution of the full Pernod Ricard portfolio of premium wines and spirits within the Republic of Ireland. Claire will also join the Irish Distillers Leadership Team, reporting to Conor McQuaid, the new Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers who took up his position on July 1st. Having most recently served as Managing Director Brand Homes & Education at Irish Distillers, Claire oversaw the 11 million redevelopment of Jameson Distillery Bow Street. The new-look Jameson brand home has fast become the most visited whiskey experience in the world with visitor numbers topping more than 350,000 in the first year since it reopened in March 2017. A graduate of Dublin City University, Claire began her career in Irish whiskey in 1998 when she joined the Jameson Graduate Programme. She spent time as brand ambassador in San Francisco, going on to hold a number of key commercial roles in the USA before joining the international commercial team for Jameson in 2007.
Louise Ryan joined Irish Distillers in 2011 and held a number of key roles, including Strategy and Insights Director, before she was appointed as Managing Director for Ireland in July 2016. As the new Managing Director of Pernod Ricard’s global gin business unit, The Gin Hub, in London, Louise will oversee the development and innovation within Pernod Ricard’s portfolio of strategic gin brands, Beefeater, Plymouth and Seagram’s to further drive growth in the thriving category. Prior to joining Irish Distillers, Louise was with Mars Ireland for 14 years where she held numerous roles including Marketing Director and Commercial Director.

Commenting on the appointments, Conor McQuaid, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, said: Our people are central to the success of our business at Irish Distillers and within the wider Pernod Ricard group. Today, I am delighted to announce that we are making two important strategic appointments that will ensure Irish Distillers’ continued growth. Both Claire and Louise have shown exceptional leadership and talent in their previous positions and we know that they will continue to impress in their new roles. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Louise for her commitment and contribution to Irish Distillers over the past number of years and I have no doubt she will bring the same success to her new global role. I’m looking forward to working closely with Claire as she brings the drive and innovation to continue Irish Distillers’ growth in Ireland.
The appointments follow the recent announcement of Rosemary Garth, Communications and Corporate Affairs Director at Irish Distillers, as Chair of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI). In her new non-executive role, Rosemary will prioritise employment protection for the sector and oversee industry promotion initiatives. DIGI is the representative group for the wider drinks and hospitality industry in Ireland whose membership spans manufacturers, distributors and the retail sectors, including Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland; Licenced Vintners Association; Vintners Federation of Ireland; Restaurants Association of Ireland; Irish Hotels Federation and the National Off-Licence Association.

Commenting on the appointment, Conor McQuaid, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, said: At this important time for our industry, I am very proud that Rosemary is the new Chair of DIGI. Ireland’s drinks industry is showing high levels of innovation and entrepreneurship while supporting and creating jobs across the country. It’s very important that the industry has a strong, united voice to represent us in important discussions that will be taking place over the coming months and years and we know that Rosemary can be this voice.

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For further information, contact:
Deirdre Connolly/Stephen Tennant Humphreys
01 6789 333
085 244 9804 / 086 154 7330

About Irish Distillers
Irish Distillers is Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys. Led by Jameson, our brands are driving the global renaissance of Irish whiskey. Jameson is the world’s fastest-growing Irish whiskey, experiencing 28 years of consecutive growth and hitting sales of 6.5m cases in 2017. Our brands are exported to 130+ markets, with over 71 of those experiencing double- or triple-digit growth.

Irish Distillers was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and Cork Distilleries Company. In 1988 Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard, gaining access to unprecedented levels of investment and an extensive global distribution network. Since 2012, we have invested over 250m to double our production and bottling capacity to meet global demand for our products.
We employ over 600 people across our operations in Cork and Dublin.

About Pernod Ricard
Pernod Ricard is the world’s no.2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of 9,010 million in FY17. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of approximately 18,500 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 Brand Companies and 86 Market Companies established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.
Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.