ONE of Scotland’s biggest Scotch whisky distillers

is to have a new chief executive for the first time in 15 years.

Glasgow-based Edrington Group has announced that Scott McCroskie, currently managing director of The Macallan, will replace long-standing chief executive Ian Curle, who will retire in March.

In stepping down Mr Curle will bring to a close a 32-year association with the distiller, which also makes The Famous Grouse, Highland Park and the Glenrothes whiskies.

The former Arthur Andersen accountant joined Edrington in 1986 through subsidiary Lang Brothers, becoming group operations director in 1997 before rising to succeed Sir Ian Good as chief executive in 2004. Mr Curle has been chairman of North British Distillery, owned jointly by Edrington and Diageo, since 2002, and is a former chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association.

In his 15 years at the Edrington helm, its employee base has grown from 900 to 3,000 worldwide, with Mr Curle overseeing the development of a global sales and distribution network

and joint ventures in Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Dominican Republic.

His departure comes after Edrington, which is owned ultimately by The Robertson Trust, unveiled its new £140 million distillery for The Macallan in May.

The new distillery gives Edrington the capacity to increase production of the Speyside malt – the number one in the world by value – by one-third.

Mr Curle said: “It has been a privilege to have been part of a unique and genuinely leading organisation that contributes so so much to Scotland. I would like to thank the trustees of our principal owner, The Robertson Trust, for their support over many years.

“I have been fortunate to work with an exceptional group of people across our board and senior leadership team. Today, Edrington is an international team of 3000 of the most talented, dedicated and generous people in our industry, representing several of the world’s finest premium spirit brands.

“Edrington’s best days lie ahead, and through Scott’s leadership it will continue to be an ambitious, dynamic business, and a cornerstone of the Scotch Whisky industry that maintains and nurtures the ethos of giving more that has underpinned the company for 157 years.”

Mr McCroskie, who officially takes the reins as chief executive on April 1, has worked in the drinks industry for 20 years, having initially joined Edrington as director of finance in 2009. He previously held senior finance roles with Maxxium, Whyte & Mackay and Jim Beam Brands.

Mr McCroskie said: “It has been a privilege working with Ian over the past 10 years. He has led Edrington to great success, and leaves an amazing legacy, not least with the new Macallan distillery. I am delighted to take on the CEO role from Ian, and fully intend to work with the team at Edrington to build on the strong position we have achieved under his leadership.”

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