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Maker's Mark president to retire
Published:  13 January, 2011

Bill Samuels Jr is to step down as president of Maker’s Mark bourbon.

In April 2011, Samuels is to become chairman emeritus for the global whiskey brand. His son, Rob Samuels, who was appointed chief operating officer in October 2010, will lead the Maker’s Mark organisation going forward. The announcement was made by Matthew J. Shattock, president & CEO of Beam Global Spirits & Wine.

Shattock said: “Bill Samuels reinvented the way bourbon was marketed at a time when the industry needed it most. “He forever changed the bourbon industry while building Maker’s Mark into a global brand and staying true to his family’s commitment to handcraftsmanship. We’re pleased that Rob Samuels, as Maker’s Mark chief operating officer, will follow in his footsteps as Bill travels throughout the world on behalf of the brand as chairman emeritus.”

Bill Samuels Jr has been at the helm of Maker’s Mark for 35 years. He is the son of Maker’s Mark founder Bill Samuels Sr and the seventh generation to continue the family’s tradition of bourbon making first started in Kentucky by Robert Samuels in 1784.   

Bill Samuels Jr will officially step down as president and transition to chairman emeritus on Friday April 15 during the Maker’s Mark Mile, a thoroughbred horserace held at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Ky.