Beam Suntory names Zsoka McDonald chief communications officer

The company also promoted Brett Hale to chief public affairs officer.

Jim Beam is part of the Beam Suntory lineup. (Photo credit: Getty Images).
Jim Beam is part of the Beam Suntory lineup. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

CHICAGO: Beam Suntory has named Zsoka McDonald as chief communications officer, a newly created role.

McDonald will oversee all global internal, external and sustainability communications as well as brand PR for the company. 

Additionally, the company has promoted Brett Hale to chief public affairs officer. He has led public affairs for the company since joining in 2016. In his expanded global role, Hale will also advise parent company Suntory Holdings of Japan on geopolitical and market-access issues.

McDonald and Hale both report to Clarkson Hine, SVP of corporate communications and public affairs. McDonald is based in New York City; Hale is based in Kentucky.

The new roles are meant to “support the company’s premiumization agenda, focused on driving long-term, sustainable growth through consumer centricity, quality craftsmanship, immersive storytelling and executional excellence,” according to a Beam Suntory statement.

Most recently, McDonald was chief sustainability officer and SVP of corporate communications at Avangrid, a publicly traded clean-energy company, where she led corporate reputation, brand, external and internal communications. McDonald also established the company’s sustainability organization and ESG strategic direction.

Before joining Avangrid, McDonald was interim VP of corporate comms for Hudson's Bay Company and spent 15 years working for Diageo, most recently as VP of corporate communications.

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. 

Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. 

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