Chivas Brothers appoints new chief executive as company veteran returns to France

SCOTCH whisky giant Chivas Brothers has a new boss, The Herald can reveal.

The Dumbarton-based distiller, which is part of the Pernod Ricard drinks empire, has appointed Jean-Etienne Gourgues as its new chief executive and chairman.

Mr Gourgues was drafted in following the abrupt departure of Jean-Christophe Coutures, who left the company in July after three years in the role.

The exit of Mr Coutures, who has returned to his native France, brought a 21-year association with Pernod to a close.

Mr Gourgues was most recently managing director of Pernod Ricard China.

Chivas confirmed the changes to The Herald after new filings at Companies House showed that Mr Coutures was no longer a director of Chivas Brothers Limited and Chivas Brothers (Holdings) Limited.

The company said in a statement: “Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, can confirm the appointment of Jean-Etienne Gourgues as chairman and CEO from July 1, 2021.

“Jean-Etienne joined Chivas Brothers from Pernod Ricard China, where he served as managing director. Previously, he was president and CEO of Pernod Ricard Japan, and he has also held senior positions at Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët and Allied Domecq.

“Jean-Etienne succeeded Jean-Christophe Coutures who will be returning to France after serving as Chivas Brothers Chairman and CEO for three years.

“Jean-Etienne will be part of Pernod Ricard’s executive committee and will be based at Chivas Brothers London HQ, after relocating from Shanghai.”

Mr Coutures held senior roles with Pernod in Asia, Australia and Ireland before succeeding Laurent Lacassagne as chief executive of Chivas Brothers in February 2018. He arrived as Chivas was preparing to switch its Scottish bottling operation from Paisley to Dumbarton.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992