Bacardi searches for Patron, Grey Goose global CMO

The search follows the abrupt exit of Lee Applbaum.

Bacardi’s global CMO has left his post after six years at the spirits giant. 

Lee Applbaum, who looked after brands Patron and Grey Goose, resigned to pursue other opportunities and spend more time with his family, Barcardi Limited CEO Mahesh Madhavan confirmed. 

He is set to depart on August 31 but will remain affiliated with the company as a special adviser to the board of directors of Bacardi International Limited, which oversees the development of the company’s portfolio of iconic brands.  

"We wish Lee all the very best in what will undoubtedly be an exciting next chapter in his successful career," said Madhavan. "Lee is a brilliant marketer and brand builder, and we thank him for his longtime leadership at Patron and more recently his work creating a new and prolific marketing and creative platform for Grey Goose, which has invigorated the brand and shows fantastic promise right out of the gate."

Bacardi has kicked off a search for Applbaum’s replacement. The company expects to focus on external candidates who bring both diverse experience and a luxury and lifestyle lens to Patron and Grey Goose, two of the crown jewels in Bacardi’s premium and super-premium portfolio. 

The chosen candidate will work closely with global CMO John Burke and also serve on the Bacardi global leadership team. 

"I remain a passionate evangelist for our brands and look forward to staying connected to the company and our people through my work as a special adviser," said Applbaum. "I now have the extraordinary privilege to pursue my personal passions in business and life and spend time with our only child in the handful of fleeting years before he leaves for college." 

Applbaum’s departure also paves the way for new opportunities for leaders on Bacardi’s long bench of brand and marketing talent. Madhavan said this week that the company has promoted company veteran Adrian Parker to VP of global marketing for Patron Tequila, overseeing all integrated marketing activities for the brand.

This story first appeared on 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in