Brown-Forman Announces European Leadership Change

Yiannis Pafilis Named President, Europe

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BFA,BFB) announced today a change in its European leadership and Executive Leadership Team (ELT). Effective March 1, 2024, Yiannis Pafilis will become Executive Vice President, President, Europe, and join the ELT. Marshall Farrer, who currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Strategic Growth Officer and President, Europe, will retain his responsibilities as Chief Strategic Growth Officer and continue to serve on the ELT and Brown-Forman Board of Directors.

As President, Europe, Yiannis Pafilis will lead the long-term strategy for the region and drive growth in the company’s European markets. Pafilis will steward Brown‑Forman’s owned distribution businesses in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Poland, Spain, Czechia/Slovakia, Belgium, and Luxembourg, as well as markets that partner for distribution.

“Yiannis’ deep industry knowledge, ability to motivate diverse teams, and experience seeding and sustaining profitable growth across Europe, have prepared him well for this expanded leadership role,” said Lawson Whiting, President and CEO, Brown-Forman. “He navigates complex and challenging environments with tremendous skill and agility, and unites people to create an inclusive, values-based organization.”

Pafilis has been with Brown-Forman for more than 25 years, first serving as area sales manager for Greece before being appointed country manager of Greece and Cyprus. During his tenure, he served as group general manager of Southeast Europe, led the Russia business, and spent significant time as vice president, managing director, Germany and Czechia. Pafilis currently serves as cluster leader of Germany, Czechia/Slovakia, and Poland while also leading Europe’s commercial strategy.

As Chief Strategic Growth Officer, Marshall Farrer will continue to collaborate with Whiting and the ELT to develop key partnerships, innovative ideas, and corporate development opportunities aimed at achieving the company’s short-term objectives and long-term ambitions.

Farrer assumed the role of President, Europe in 2020. Since that time, he led the creation and transition of owned distribution organizations in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Slovakia, and the expansion of the Brown-Forman portfolio offerings in key European markets, introducing existing brands and bringing to market Gin Mare, Diplomático, and Jack Daniel’s & Coca-Cola RTD.

“Marshall played a critical role in growing our business, brands, and people in Europe,” said Whiting. “He provided valuable leadership in establishing a stronger owned distribution network in Europe and built a high-performing team rooted in the values of Brown-Forman. I am very appreciative of his leadership in this important part of the business, and look forward to partnering more closely with him to advance the strategic long-term growth of the company.”

With more than 25 years at Brown-Forman, Farrer has served on the Executive Leadership Team since 2020 and the Brown-Forman Board of Directors since 2016. He is a fifth-generation Brown family shareholder.

About Brown-Forman:

For more than 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Ready-to-Drinks, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Coopers’ Craft, The GlenDronach, Benriach, Glenglassaugh, Slane, Herradura, el Jimador, New Mix, Korbel, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, Fords Gin, Gin Mare, and Diplomático Rum. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by approximately 5,600 employees globally and sold in more than 170 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and X, formerly Twitter.

Important Information on Forward-Looking Statements:

This press release contains statements, estimates, and projections that are “forward-looking statements” as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “aspire,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “envision,” “estimate,” “expect,” “expectation,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “pursue,” “see,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar words indicate forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date we make them. Except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, and other factors (many beyond our control) that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our historical experience or from our current expectations or projections.

These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:

  • Our substantial dependence upon the continued growth of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands
  • Substantial competition from new entrants, consolidations by competitors and retailers, and other competitive activities, such as pricing actions (including price reductions, promotions, discounting, couponing, or free goods), marketing, category expansion, product introductions, or entry or expansion in our geographic markets or distribution networks
  • Route-to-consumer changes that affect the timing of our sales, temporarily disrupt the marketing or sale of our products, or result in higher fixed costs
  • Disruption of our distribution network or inventory fluctuations in our products by distributors, wholesalers, or retailers
  • Changes in consumer preferences, consumption, or purchase patterns – particularly away from larger producers in favor of small distilleries or local producers, or away from brown spirits, our premium products, or spirits generally, and our ability to anticipate or react to them; further legalization of marijuana; bar, restaurant, travel, or other on-premise declines; shifts in demographic or health and wellness trends; or unfavorable consumer reaction to new products, line extensions, package changes, product reformulations, or other product innovation
  • Production facility, aging warehouse, or supply chain disruption
  • Imprecision in supply/demand forecasting
  • Higher costs, lower quality, or unavailability of energy, water, raw materials, product ingredients, or labor
  • Risks associated with acquisitions, dispositions, business partnerships, or investments – such as acquisition integration, termination difficulties or costs, or impairment in recorded value
  • Impact of health epidemics and pandemics, and the risk of the resulting negative economic impacts and related governmental actions
  • Unfavorable global or regional economic conditions and related economic slowdowns or recessions, low consumer confidence, high unemployment, weak credit or capital markets, budget deficits, burdensome government debt, austerity measures, higher interest rates, higher taxes, political instability, higher inflation, deflation, lower returns on pension assets, or lower discount rates for pension obligations
  • Product recalls or other product liability claims, product tampering, contamination, or quality issues
  • Negative publicity related to our company, products, brands, marketing, executive leadership, employees, Board of Directors, family stockholders, operations, business performance, or prospects
  • Failure to attract or retain key executive or employee talent
  • Risks associated with being a U.S.-based company with a global business, including commercial, political, and financial risks; local labor policies and conditions; protectionist trade policies, or economic or trade sanctions, including additional retaliatory tariffs on American whiskeys and the effectiveness of our actions to mitigate the negative impact on our margins, sales, and distributors; compliance with local trade practices and other regulations; terrorism, kidnapping, extortion, or other types of violence; and health pandemics
  • Failure to comply with anti-corruption laws, trade sanctions and restrictions, or similar laws or regulations
  • Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, particularly a stronger U.S. dollar
  • Changes in laws, regulatory measures, or governmental policies, especially those affecting production, importation, marketing, labeling, pricing, distribution, sale, or consumption of our beverage alcohol products
  • Tax rate changes (including excise, corporate, sales or value-added taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, import and export duties, and tariffs) or changes in related reserves, changes in tax rules or accounting standards, and the unpredictability and suddenness with which they can occur
  • Decline in the social acceptability of beverage alcohol in significant markets
  • Significant additional labeling or warning requirements or limitations on availability of our beverage alcohol products
  • Counterfeiting and inadequate protection of our intellectual property rights
  • Significant legal disputes and proceedings, or government investigations
  • Cyber breach or failure or corruption of our key information technology systems or those of our suppliers, customers, or direct and indirect business partners, or failure to comply with personal data protection laws
  • Our status as a family “controlled company” under New York Stock Exchange rules, and our dual-class share structure

For further information on these and other risks, please refer to our public filings, including the “Risk Factors” section of our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Elizabeth Conway


External Communications



Sue Perram

Vice President

Investor Relations



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