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Beam Suntory’s SVP of corporate comms and public affairs Clarkson Hine to retire

CHICAGO: Beam Suntory’s SVP of corporate communications and public affairs Clarkson Hine is set to retire in February.

Hine’s role is being split between chief communications officer Zsoka McDonald and chief public affairs officer Brett Hale, for communications and PR, and public affairs separately, a spokesperson told PRWeek.

Upon Hine’s departure, McDonald will report to Paula Erickson in her expanded capacity as SVP, chief people, culture and communications officer; and Hale will report to Todd Bloomquist in his expanded capacity as SVP, chief legal officer, corporate affairs and secretary, according to a company statement.

McDonald and Hale currently report to Hine. McDonald oversees all global internal, external and sustainability communications as well as brand PR for the company; and Hale leads public affairs and advises parent company Suntory Holdings of Japan on geopolitical and market-access issues.

McDonald and Hale were named to their roles in June

Before that, McDonald was chief sustainability officer and SVP of corporate communications at Avangrid. Hale, who has worked at Beam Suntory since 2016, was previously the company’s VP of global public affairs. 

Hine leads the company’s global communications, brand PR and public affairs functions, including the company’s approach to navigating the evolving international alcohol policy landscape. He is also chair of the company’s corporate responsibility committee, leading oversight of the company’s sustainability strategy.   

Hine has been with the company for 24 years, beginning at predecessor company Fortune Brands in 1998. In that time, he has helped guide the company “through value-creating structural and cultural transformations,” including the $16 billion acquisition of Beam by Suntory Holdings in 2014, according to his profile on the company’s website

Hine was not immediately available for comment.

Beam Suntory brands include Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark bourbon, Courvoisier cognac, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek and Legent bourbon; Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki Japanese whisky; Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whisky; Canadian Club whisky; Hornitos and Sauza tequila; Effen, Haku and Pinnacle vodka; Sipsmith and Roku gin; and On The Rocks Premium Cocktails.

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