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SWA makes Pernod's Pringuet its new chairman
Published:  02 December, 2014

The Scotch Whisky Association has appointed Pierre Pringuet, CEO of Pernod Ricard, as its new chairman.

Pringuet succeeds Ian Curle, Edrington chief executive, who was chair of the trade body for three years. Curle will remain on the SWA’s governing council.

Peter Gordon, director at William Grant & Sons, replaces Pringuet as vice chairman of the SWA.

The SWA’s priorities will be to secure a competitive business environment, the industry’s social responsibility agenda, fair access to export markets, and the legal protection of scotch world-wide.  Pringuet will work with SWA chief executive David Frost.

With a UK Budget three months away, there will also be an immediate focus on the high taxation of scotch whisky, where nearly 80% of the average price of a bottle goes straight to the UK government.

Pringuet joined Pernod Ricard in 1987 as development director. In 2000 he became a joint CEO of the company. He was appointed sole CEO in 2008 and vice chairman of the board of directors in 2012.

In other senior appointments, Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, the largest producer of scotch whisky, and Richard Burn, global policy and public affairs director of Diageo, join the SWA council.

The SWA also announced that Julie Hesketh-Laird has been appointed as its new deputy chief executive. Ms Hesketh-Laird joined the SWA in 2005 as director of operational & technical affairs and she will continue in this role alongside her new position.  

Finally, the association also announced it intends to sell its Atholl Crescent office and move to modern premises in Edinburgh during 2015, and to open a small permanent office in London to strengthen its impact there. 

David Frost, SWA chief executive, said: “This is an exciting time for the SWA and the entire scotch whisky industry. The industry supports around 40,000 jobs across the UK and exports about £4 billion annually, but its success cannot be taken for granted.

"Economic headwinds and challenges, both domestically and in overseas markets, mean the work of the Association on behalf of the industry is of vital importance.”