Bacardi Names New CMO of Grey Goose Vodka

Bacardi Limited has announced that Lee Applbaum, global chief marketing officer of Patrón Spirits, has expanded his role to head up global marketing for Grey Goose Vodka.

Applbaum will serve as CMO for both Patrón Spirits and Grey Goose.

In this new top category role, Applbaum will be responsible for developing the global marketing vision and premium positioning for Grey Goose. This includes working on brand equity, architecture, positioning, advertising, creative, brand communications, experiential, packaging, and strategic direction on new product development and innovation.

Applbaum will report to Bacardi Limited CEO Mahesh Madhavan and will be based in Bermuda. He will spend time at the Patrón office in Dallas, as well as in the Bacardi offices of Coral Gables and London, among others.

“Much of Lee’s focus with Patrón tequila has been on building world-class assets to communicate the brands’ rich artisanal story,” says Madhavan. “I look forward to Lee bringing his creativity, ideas, and talent to Grey Goose as the two brands are both category leaders.”

“One of the greatest benefits of our recent acquisition of Patrón Spirits has been the merging and sharing of talent. It was always about more than just the liquid,” Madhavan adds. “These were the types of synergies that we were looking for when we acquired Patrón Spirits earlier this year.”


Applbaum will continue to serve as the global CMO of Patrón Spirits, responsible for the company’s portfolio of luxury brands. He directs all global integrated marketing efforts across creative, media, public relations, innovation, and experiential activation in more than 100 countries.

“Grey Goose and Patrón are two iconic brands that stand alongside each other behind some of the best bars in the world,” says Applbaum. “We can learn a lot from each other, and I look forward to a dynamic exchange of ideas, expertise, and experiences between the two brand teams.”

Applbaum is an innovator with proven strategic, creative, and communications expertise in the fields of brand and retail marketing, the company says. He has been praised for his achievements in digital and social media, brand building, and product development, including being recognized by Adweek as a “Brand Genius,” the magazine’s highest marketing honor, and the “Most Innovative CMO” by Business Insider.


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