“There is no one better qualified than Francis to take on this important regional role for the company,” says Michael J. Dolan, Chief Executive Officer of Bacardi Limited. “Francis has enjoyed a long and successful career at Bacardi and is a great example of how we nurture top talent. Over 23 years, Francis has repeatedly proven his ability to lead teams to success in the marketplace, most recently as VP & Managing Director for Northern Europe. Francis’ experience and expertise partnered with his drive and passion are the perfect mix to ensure that our iconic portfolio of brands continues to grow throughout Europe.”
Debeuckelaere succeeds Mahesh Madhavan, who in March 2017 was named the successor to Dolan when he retires as CEO. Madhavan will spend the next several months working with different regions and markets as he prepares to assume the CEO role in 2018.
Commenting on his appointment as Regional President, Debeuckelaere says: “I love the company and this business, so naturally it is a great honor to be given this fantastic opportunity. These are exciting times for Europe and for Bacardi. We have an enviable portfolio of brands and an extraordinarily talented team. Add to this powerful combination, the freedom we enjoy as a family-owned company to respond quickly to rapidly changing market trends and we have a winning formula in Europe.”
In his career at Bacardi, Debeuckelaere has led a number of European markets to great success. Under him, the size of Bacardi in Belgium more than doubled, going from the number three spirits company to number one. Similarly, the size of Bacardi in the Netherlands grew by more than 50 percent, from number three in the market to number two, and after he helped establish the company in Switzerland in 2004, Bacardi grew into the country’s number three spirits company. Prior to joining Bacardi, Debeuckelaere held marketing positions with Nestlé and brewer Alken-Maes.
Debeuckelaere has a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, a Master’s Degree in Roman languages, and an MBA from the University of Leuven in Belgium. He is fluent in Dutch, English, French, German, and Spanish.
Debeuckelaere will be based in Geneva, Switzerland (subject to permit approval), and a member of the Global Leadership Team.