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Pernod Ricard Hires New Legal Chief Poliquin from JDE Peet’s

Feb. 5, 2021, 11:01 AM

International beverage giant Pernod Ricard SA announced Thursday that Anne-Marie Poliquin will take over as group general counsel at the end of March following the departure of current legal chief Amanda Hamilton-Stanley.

Poliquin joins the Paris-based parent company of Absolut Vodka, Malibu Caribbean Rum, and Jameson Irish Whiskey from JDE Peet’s, owner and operator of coffee chain Peet’s Coffee, where she was general counsel of legal and corporate affairs.

Outgoing legal chief Hamilton-Stanley joined Pernod Ricard in 2011 and was promoted to general counsel in September 2018, replacing Ian FitzSimons after his 16-year tenure as the company’s top lawyer.

Hamilton-Stanley is leaving Pernod Ricard to “take her career in a different direction,” according to a Feb. 4 company statement. Pernod Ricard and Hamilton-Stanley did not immediately respond to a request for comment on her future plans.

Before joining JDE Peet’s, Poliquin was the general counsel of French artificial intelligence healthcare company Neogia, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also spent two decades with consumer goods and snacks giant Mars, Inc. including as general counsel for Europe and general counsel for global petcare.

In an annual report for FY 2020, Pernod Ricard reported net profits of $350 million, a 76% decline compared the previous fiscal year. The company cited sharp declines in sales from travel retail, such as duty free stores often found at airports, which have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic’s travel restrictions.

Once lockdowns had begun across the globe, the report said sales were also affected by declines in “on-trade” business. This encompasses business at restaurants and bars that were shuttered due to the pandemic.

For FY21, we expect continued resilience of our business in an uncertain and disrupted environment. We will tightly manage costs while maintaining the agility to reinvest to adjust to market opportunities,” Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard said in a Oct. 22 statement.

In 2020, Pernod Ricard added multiple brands to its portfolio including craft vermouth St. Petroni and Monkey 47 gin. The company also announced a partnership with mezcal brand Ojo de Tigre last July.

The company’s North American division also made a pivot last spring to use distilleries to manufacture hand sanitizer which was in short supply in the U.S. at the start of the pandemic.

Competing spirits company Bacardi Limited hired Todd Grice as its new general counsel last fall, replacing its previous legal chief Eduardo Sanchez. Like Poliquin, Grice preceded his move to an alcoholic beverage giant with an in-house attorney job at a more family-friendly drinks company, Coca-Cola, where he worked for nearly two decades.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ruiqi Chen in Washington, D.C. at rchen@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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