London: John Beard, a senior figure in the UK drinks industry, had been appointed as chief executive of the Scottish whiskey major Whyte & Mackay, which was bought by Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya in 2007.
Beard will lead the distiller’s expansion plans in both domestic and international markets.
Beard, a former chief executive of Bacardi Brown Forman, replaces Ashwin Malik, who has led the Glasgow-based company since its takeover.
After his appointment, Beard said: “I have been really impressed with Whyte & Mackay’s performance and its commitment to building not only strong brands, but strong international brands.
“I have met Mallya personally, and there is no doubt in my mind that he is committed to this company, committed to building great premium brands, and committed to making Whyte & Mackay a major international spirits company.”
Malik, who returns to take up a position in India, said: “I have enjoyed my time here in Scotland and have met many wonderful people, but the time is right to return to India with my family.”
W&M last September reported a £25.6 million profit for the 18 months after Mallya’s taking over of the company.