BEAM Suntory, the US drinks giant which owns Scotch whisky brands Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Laphroaig, and Teacher’s, has unveiled its new boss.

President and chief executive Albert Baladi will be succeeded by Greg Hughes, currently senior vice president chief growth and brands officer at the company.

Mr Baladi has been on the executive leadership team at Beam Suntory for 12 years, and in the five years since moving into the top job annual sales at Beam Suntory have increased to more than $5 billion. He will serve as CEO advisor until the end of the year and remain on board as a senior advisor to the company throughout 2024.

READ MORE: Whisky brands sold in £10bn Suntory swoop

Mr Hughes has more than three decades of experience in consumer goods across marketing, commercial, and management roles. He joined Beam Suntory in 2015, since when he has served as general manager of North America and gone on to lead the company’s largest market as President North America for four years.

Prior to joining Beam Suntory, Mr Hughes held roles at Procter & Gamble, Bel Brands USA, and Kraft Foods. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University and is a graduate of the University of Kansas.

Mr Baladi said: “It’s with an optimistic eye toward the future and extreme pride for all that has been accomplished that I have made the personal decision to step down and make way for the next leader.

“This is a decision I have been contemplating for some time with my family, and given the strength of the company, clear growth strategy in place for the future and the right team in place, now is the right time to hand the reins over to my successor, Greg Hughes, and his exceptional leadership.

READ MORE: Islay whisky moves to slash emissions as new design revealed

"I am very proud of what we have built these past 12 years and am grateful for the opportunity to lead Beam Suntory as president and CEO during a five-year period of massive transformation for our company.”

Mr Hughes said: “I’m humbled and excited as I step in to lead Beam Suntory into our organization’s next chapter as we transform this business to achieve our ambition to become the world’s most admired premium spirits company and accomplish our 2030 goals.

“We have great people, great brands and a strong supporter in Suntory Group – a winning combination that promises a bright future for this company.”

Tak Niinami, president and chief executive of Suntory Holdings, said: “Greg has an incredibly strong track record of performance anchored in strategic vision, exemplary brand building, and a people-first inclusive mindset. He truly knows how to put brands and people at the heart of the business, and we have great confidence in his leadership.”

READ MORE: UK economy 'sleepwalking into recession' as activity cools

Japanese drinks giant Suntory acquired New York-listed Beam in a $16 billion deal in 2014. It brought together Suntory’s respected Japanese whiskies such as Yamazaki and Morrison Bowmore Scotch whisky operations with US bourbons Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and Knob Creek.