Cutillas, who died unexpectedly aged 81, was the first chairman of the group of Bacardi companies that formed Bacardi Limited in 1992 and the great, great grandson of the company’s founder, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó.
Cutillas was a "driving force" behind the 1992 formation of Bacardi Limited, consolidating five separate strategic operating units of the Company (Bacardi International Limited – Bermuda; Bacardi & Company Limited – Bahamas; Bacardi Corporation – Puerto Rico; Bacardi Imports, Inc. – United States; and Bacardi y Compañía S.A. de C.V. – Mexico) into a single company, producing the world’s largest privately held spirits company.
He also was integral in the company’s first acquisition, that of the Martini & Rossi Group in 1993.
Current chairman of Bacardi, Facundo L Bacardi, said: “The Bacardi family and employees are deeply saddened at the passing of Manuel Jorge—one of the icons of our Company. Manuel Jorge—through his drive and leadership—helped shape the global company that we have today.
“His pursuit of growth for the Company took Bacardi from solely being a rum company to a diverse portfolio of premium brands which established us as a global player. His dedication to the dynamic Bacardi culture of passion, excellence and entrepreneurial spirit will be greatly missed.”
Cutillas retired from Bacardi Limited as chairman in 2000. He headed Bermuda-based Bacardi Limited from 1992-1997 as president and chief executive and led Bacardi & Company Limited in the Bahamas from 1977-1992.
Cutillas started working for Bacardi in 1955 as a chemical engineer at its original headquarters in Santiago de Cuba.