Bacardi today announced a leadership change in its Global Travel Retail (GTR) business with the appointment of Leila Stansfield as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 2023. She will succeed the highly respected Vinay Golikeri who was appointed to the role Managing Director Key, India and Neighboring Countries.
Bacardi described Stansfield as an experienced global travel retail veteran, having previously served as GTR Chief Financial Officer and GTR Marketing Director during a 12-year career with the group. She will be the first woman to lead the division. She is currently Director of On-Trade Sales, Bacardi UK & Ireland.
Bacardi Regional President AMEA and GTR Vijay Subramaniam said, “Vinay has played a pivotal role in leading and growing our global travel retail business. The last few years have been particularly difficult for this channel, and Vinay has successfully met the challenges of the pandemic.
“He has spearheaded our ambitions as a forerunner of the omnichannel revolution sweeping travel retail by partnering with retail customers, bringing meaningful innovation to the customer experience and our brand portfolio. I would like to thank Vinay for his unwavering drive and positive leadership and wish him every success in his new role.
“In the meantime, we are delighted to welcome Leila Stansfield back to GTR. She is a driving force within our leadership team and brings valuable business acumen to many aspects of our business. transformational opportunities for global travel retail and Bacardi is deeply committed to the long term.
“With a passion for people – our customers, our consumers and for unleashing the potential of her team – Leila will be a formidable leader in bringing GTR into the new omnichannel era, maximizing unrivaled momentum in terms of strategic brand development. and business opportunities as a driver of our ESG objectives – a key objective in our strategic ambitions for global travel retail.
Commenting on his time at Bacardi GTR, Golikeri said, “It has been such a privilege to lead Bacardi’s global travel retail business, and I would especially like to call the most magnificent team of talented people I have worked with. worked and thank them. for their fearless commitment and passion.
“These people have done a phenomenal job in the toughest times, enabling us to reinvent our business in global travel retail and emerge stronger with new possibilities, including forging the omnichannel solutions that are the foundation of the new era in this remarkable market.”
Stansfield commented: “I am very excited to be back in global travel retail in January 2023, especially at a time when the market looks set to head for a full recovery. I look forward to reconnecting with our retail partners and stakeholders to accelerate and implement mutually beneficial growth strategies. »
The Moodie view: Vinay Golikeri has done a stellar job steering Bacardi GTR through the roller coaster that the channel has been since his promotion to the position in April 2019.
His entirely consumer-centric perspective was perfectly captured in an interview with me he did in January 2020, noting, “Our driving force in GTR is consumers – they are at the heart of our strategy. Our business is to inspire memorable experiences, not just to sell bottles and cases.
Beginning in early 2019, Golikeri and his team set out to deliver these experiences with a host of in-store digital innovations focused on entertainment and emphasizing channel exclusivity, personalization and premiumization. Search the Moodie Davitt Report archives and you’ll see some of the most dynamic activations and installs of any category in recent times and some of the most advanced omnichannel thinking.
And then… well, we all know what happened next. A certain coronavirus has arrived, causing the most protracted and painful crisis in the history of the sector. A global pandemic that has made the travel industry one of its main victims. Another leadership test followed, one without a model and another conducted in a wildly fluctuating business environment over more than two years. A test of human, commercial and societal qualities.
“He’s articulate, warm, caring, but with a clear strategy and vision for executing a world-class brand,” says a key Bacardi GTR business partner.
As Subramaniam aptly notes, Golikeri navigated these turbulent seas with a combination of composure, flexibility and foresight, the latter trait allowing Bacardi GTR to bounce back quickly through the channel despite the well-documented supply chain challenges faced. face all suppliers. He also played a leading role in understanding and quickly seizing the Hainan opportunity once the island province added spirits and wine to the offshore duty-free offering in July 2020.
He has now landed the greatest of roles, serving his native India and neighboring countries. It’s a job that this nearly 20-year-old servant of Bacardi, who started with the company as marketing director for the group’s rum portfolio in Delhi in 2003, will rightly cherish and richly deserve.