Proximo Spirits Names New CEO

There’s new leadership at Proximo Spirits.

The company announced yesterday the appointment of Michael Keyes as President & Chief Executive Officer, effective February 4, 2019.

In that capacity, Keyes will manage all operations of Proximo and its affiliates in the U.S. and Canada.

Based in Jersey City, NJ, Proximo is best known as the U.S. importer and distributor of Jose Cuervo tequila. Other brands it’s behind include 1800 Tequila, Bushmills, Three Olives, Kraken, Tincup and Hangar 1.

Keyes is a veteran executive with over 30 years of experience in the distilled spirits industry, including more than 10 years as President, North America Region, for Brown-Forman Corporation. Keyes joined Brown-Forman in 1991. His service included overseeing the company’s top brands as a marketing executive and then serving in management positions of increasing responsibility for the company’s marketing, sales and finance functions, both in North America and globally.

“Mike is a proven leader with the right skills and experience to lead our most profitable markets,” says Juan Domingo Beckmann, CEO of Proximo’s parent company, Becle, S.A.B. de C.V.

Keyes will succeed Michael Cheek, who has overseen Proximo’s operations on an interim basis since July 2018 and who will continue as a member of the Becle board of directors.

“I have known Mike Keyes for over 25 years as a man of tremendous talent and integrity,” says Cheek. “I am thrilled that Mike has agreed to join us, and that Proximo and its employees, distributors and business partners will be in such good hands going forward.”

Says Keyes, “I join Proximo at a very exciting time, when the company is performing strongly thanks to the leadership of the Beckmann family. Proximo has grown rapidly over the past decade, and I look forward to working with the company’s outstanding management team and distributor network to build on Proximo’s phenomenal track record of brand development and commercial success. Proximo already has one of the strongest brand portfolios in the industry, and is particularly well positioned in the dynamic, high-growth categories of tequila, Irish whiskey and North American whiskey. Under my leadership, Proximo will continue its dual mission of responsible stewardship of iconic legacy brands and aggressive development of innovative growth brands.”

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