Mark Brown plans to leave his role as Sazerac CEO next month. The spirits leader, known for his long tenure at the company and daily industry newsletter, will transition to a new position as executive chairman.

New Orleans-headquartered Sazerac said in a statement: “As part of a long-signaled and eight-year succession plan, effective July 1st, 2023, Mark Brown will become the Sazerac Company’s full-time executive chairman and Jake Wenz; currently the company’s chief commercial officer, will become president and CEO. Brown started in the alcohol sector when he began working for his family’s pub business in the UK in 1971.

In 1976, Brown joined British cider maker HP Bulmer as a salesperson and became a sales trainer in 1979. He moved to the US in 1980 as Bulmer’s US field sales manager. From 1981 to 1992, he served as director of new products, national sales manager and, eventually, vice president of sales and marketing for Sazerac. Brown has led teams at Sazerac since his start in 1981 as the brand’s director of new products.

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