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All News » Ed Shirley set to leave Bacardi Limited Post

Ed Shirley set to leave Bacardi Limited Post

After a 36 year career, Ed Shirley, the president and chief executive of world-famous drinks brand Bacardi Limited will step down from the prestigious post to move on to the next chapter in his life — his retirement.

A Successful Career

During his 36 years in business, Ed Shirley has worked on, and headed up, some of the most successful brand names in the global arena. For 27 years he worked at razor maker Gillette, and then in 2005 he enjoyed a successful stint with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, managing beauty and grooming products. Mr Shirley joined the Bacardi brand in 2012 and announced his retirement in April, 2014, at the age of 57.

About the Bacardi Brand

The famous Bacardi brand was born in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba and has been family owned for seven generations. Its current head office is in Bermuda, and Bacardi ranks as the largest privately held and family owned spirits organisation in the world. The company has grown over the years to now offer in excess of 200 brands and labels, whilst also employing 6,000 people at 27 facilities worldwide.

The Bacardi group is estimated to sell around 200 million bottles of its liquor annually, with sales reaching US $5 billion in 2012. In 1993, Bacardi merged with Martini & Rossi to create the Bacardi Martini group, in a move to diversify away from the white rum label. It bought Dewar’s Scotch in 1998, Cazadores tequila in 2002, Grey Goose in 2004 and the New Zealand vodka label 42 Below in 2006. Despite owning over 200 brands, there are six core labels that dominate the Bacardi group. The Bacardi rum has amassed more than 500 awards and claims to be the world’s most popular rum.

Ed Shirley at Bacardi

During the two years that Ed Shirley held the fort at Bacardi, he undertook global campaigns to boost the profiles of Dewar’s Blended Scotch whisky, Bacardi Rum, Grey Goose vodka, Italian sparkling wines and Martini vermouth. Mr Shirley was also responsible for managing the acquisition of StGermain elderflower liquor, which is widely believed to be his biggest achievement during his tenure at the global drinks brand. On the announcement of his retirement, officials at Bacardi praised Mr Shirley for his work at the group, commenting that “Ed leaves Bacardi a stronger organisation from his dedication to the company and its brands. We thank Ed for his commitment and passion to Bacardi and we all wish him well”.

A Successor to Mr Shirley

A successor to step into the shoes of Ed Shirley has yet to be appointed, according to the Board of Directors, who made the announcement concerning Ed’s retirement plans. An interim chief executive is expected to be announced imminently, but in the meantime the chairman of Bacardi, Facundo L Bacardi, will steer the Bacardi ship. Facundo is a fifth generation member of the Bacardi family.

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