Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers has appointed Claire Tolan as managing director for Ireland to replace Louise Ryan who is taking on the job of managing director of the French drink group’s global Gin Hub in London. In her new role, Tolan will be responsible for the distribution of the Pernod Ricard portfolio of wines and spirits in the Republic of Ireland.
She will also join the company’s leadership team, reporting to new chairman and CEO Conor McQuaid. Tolan was most recently managing director of brand homes and education at Irish Distillers, overseeing the €11 million redevelopment of Jameson Distillery Bow Street. The venue is now rated as world’s top whiskey centre with 350,000 visitors in year one.
A graduate of DCU, she began her career in Irish whiskey in 1998 joining the Jameson graduate programme. She was brand ambassador in San Francisco and joined Jameson’s international team in 2007. Ryan, above, joined Irish Distillers in 2011 and was strategy and insights director. She previously spent 14 years at Mars and was marketing director.
Pernod Ricard’s gin brands include Beefeater, Plymouth and Seagram’s.
The appointments follow the recent announcement of Rosemary Garth, communications and corporate affairs director at Irish Distillers, as chair of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI). DIGI is the national representative group for the drinks and hospitality industry with membership spanning manufacturers, distributors and retailers.