Glasgow-based drinks company Edrington — owner of Scotch whisky brands The Macallan, Highland Park and The Famous Grouse — said on Friday that chief executive officer Ian Curle will retire in March 2019 after 15 years in that role.
His successor will be Scott McCroskie, currently a member of the Edrington board and managing director of The Macallan.
Curle joined the business in 1986 through Edrington’s subsidiary Lang Brothers, becoming group operations director in 1997 before succeeding Ian Good as chief executive in 2004.
He has been chairman of the North British Distillery since 2002, is a former chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association, and is an advisor to the UK Board of Trade.
Crawford Gillies, chairman of Edrington said: “Ian has led Edrington to become one of the world’s leading international premium spirit companies.
“On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank him for his 32 years of outstanding service, and particularly the 15 years in which he has been a wise and inspiring chief executive.
“Ian exemplifies the Edrington ethos of ‘giving more’ and his vision has transformed Edrington, positioning the company well for the great opportunities that lie ahead.
“We wish him a very happy retirement, together with his wife and family.”
Gillies explained that after a thorough search process, McCroskie will become chief executive with effect from April 1, 2019.
Gillies added: “Scott has accumulated a wealth of experience during 20 years in senior roles in the drinks industry.
“As an Edrington board director and managing director of The Macallan, he has delivered remarkable success and contributed greatly to the business.
“He is the right leader to build on Ian’s hugely successful tenure and help write the next chapter of Edrington’s history.”
Curle’s stewardship of Edrington has transformed the business from a successful Scotch Whisky producer employing 900 people into a leading premium spirits brand building company with 3,000 employees.
In that period, The Macallan has become the world’s most valuable single malt, sitting at the top of a portfolio that also includes Highland Park, The Glenrothes and The Famous Grouse.
Curle said: “It has been a privilege to have been part of a unique and genuinely leading organisation that contributes so much to the industry and so much to Scotland.
“I would like to thank the trustees of our principal owner, The Robertson Trust, for their support over many years.
“I have been fortunate to work with an exceptional group of people across our board and senior leadership team …
“Edrington’s best days lie ahead, and through Scott’s leadership it will continue to be an ambitious, dynamic business, and a cornerstone of the Scotch Whisky industry that maintains and nurtures the ethos of giving more that has underpinned the company for 157 years.”
McCroskie said: “It has been a privilege working with Ian over the past 10 years.
“He has led Edrington to great success, and leaves an amazing legacy, not least with the new Macallan distillery.
“I am delighted to take on the CEO role from Ian, and fully intend to work with the team at Edrington to build on the strong position we have achieved under his leadership.”
Edrington said in June its core revenues rose 7% to £706.7 million and profit before tax rose 3% to £194.7 million in the year ended 31 March 2018.