Greg Hughes to succeed Albert Baladi as Beam Suntory Chief Executive Officer

By Kristiane Sherry |

Greg Hughes, Albert Baladi, Tak Niinami

L-R: Greg Hughes, Albert Baladi, Tak Niinami as the change in leadership is announced.

Beam Suntory has named Greg Hughes as its new CEO, with Albert Baladi set to step down in October.

Hughes, currently Senior Vice President Chief Growth & Brands Officer, has worked in consumer goods marketing for over three decades.

He joined Beam Suntory in 2015 and has held roles including General Manager North America, and President North America.

Prior to joining the business he held senior 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. 

Hughes assumes CEO responsibilities on October 1, when Baladi will transition to a CEO advisor role until the end of the year.

Throughout 2024, he will serve as a senior advisor to the company. 

Baladi has been part of the Beam Suntory senior leadership team for 12 years. For the past five, he has served as President & CEO.

Since he took on the role in 2019, Beam Suntory’s annual sales have grown at high single-digits to reach more than US$5 billion. 

He has led the business’s premiumisation strategy, with the segment now accounting for the majority of its sales. 

Beam Suntory said succession for the brands and marketing organisation, currently under Hughes’ leadership, will be announced in due course. 

Greg Hughes: ‘Exceptional leadership’

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. 

“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 & CEO during a five-year period of massive transformation for our company.”

Tak Niinami, President & CEO of Suntory Holdings, added: “On behalf of Suntory Holdings, I’d like to express deep appreciation to Albert for his tremendous leadership, exemplary contributions, and impact during his 12-year tenure with Beam Suntory.

“As CEO, Albert has led a highly transformative phase for the company. He architected the company’s 2030 growth strategy, established a brand-led operating model, step-changed investments in talent and capabilities, launched the company’s first ever Proof Positive Sustainability strategy, moved our global headquarters to New York City, and navigated the many challenges of the COVID pandemic. 

Beam Suntory has driven premiumisation under Baladi’s leadership

“Under Albert’s values-based leadership, Beam Suntory has delivered exemplary business performance, accelerated premiumisation, and become a stronger organisation. 

“We couldn’t be more thankful for his leadership and impact on the brands and culture of Beam Suntory.

“Greg is ideally suited to succeed Albert as CEO and lead the company’s next era of growth, building on the strong track record under Albert’s leadership. 

“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.”

Hughes commented: “I’m humbled and excited as I step in to lead Beam Suntory into our organisation’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.”

Earlier this year, Beam Suntory partnered with Changi Airport Group and Lotte Duty Free to host an airport activation celebrating 100 years of Suntory whisky.


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