Rémy Cointreau Appoints New Cognac CEO
Published on Jan 27 2014 1:59 PM in Drinks
Rémy Cointreau has appointed Eric Vallat (pictured), a former executive at luxury conglomerate LVMH, as the new chief executive of its cognac brand.
The news follows the former head of Remy Cointreau’s cognac brand, Patrick Piana’s departure last week after the drinks group announced a 32% drop in third-quarter cognac sales.
Piana's departure from the French spirits group follows slowing demand in China for the premium brand.
While Rémy Cointreau benefited from China's demand for premium drinks, sales began falling last year when President Xi Jinping announced an anti-corruption drive that damaged the Chinese tradition of gifts and dining and wining.
Piana had been CEO of Remy Cointreau's cognac division, Remy Martin, for the past six years.
A group spokesperson commented that "Remy Cointreau regrets his departure," adding that a successor would be named very quickly.
The surprise announcement regarding Piana follows the resignation earlier this month of group chief executive Frederic Pflanz.
"Whatever the reason for Patrick Piana's departure, it adds even more uncertainty following the recent resignation of Frederic Pflanz as CEO," commented Bernstein analyst Trevor Sterling.
While Pflanz resigned for personal reasons, analysts believe his departure was due to disagreements with the executive committee on what was the best approach in dealing with the slowdown in China.
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