September 15 2020  |  People

Beam announces new GM & transformed operating model

By Laura Shirk

The appointment of Phil Restall as General Manager of Travel Retail at Beam Suntory, will complete the transformation of its GTR operating model and ensure the delivery of an exciting innovation pipeline

Beam Suntory, a world leader in premium spirits, has announced the appointment of Phil Restall as General Manager of Travel Retail at Beam Suntory, reporting to John Rosair, Managing Director APAC and GTR.

Based in Singapore, Phil will start his new position in October, moving on from his current role as Commercial Director of Beam Suntory’s Australia business. Phil’s appointment will complete the transformation of Beam Suntory’s Global Travel Retail (GTR) operating model and ensure the delivery of an exciting innovation pipeline – a step-change in this important channel.

Assuming the position of Commercial Director Australia will be Richard Warrington, who will move to Sydney from the UK in October. Richard joined Beam Suntory in 2017 and has played an integral role in building winning partnerships with our Global Travel Retail customers, ensuring category growth for the business. Beam Suntory GTR will soon commence the recruitment process to replace Richard’s current Global Key Accounts Director role.


“I am delighted to be stepping into my new role at such a pivotal time for the business. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the GTR industry, Beam Suntory remains confident in the future of this important channel and we are committed to partnering with our customers for a fast recovery. I very much look forward to working with the team to demonstrate to our partners our vision for long-term growth and evolution of our GTR business,” shares Restall.

Operating model transformation

A new and transformed operating model will support the company’s ambition to become the recognized industry leader for showcasing brands, partnering with customers and driving mutually beneficial growth during the COVID-19 recovery period and beyond.

Under Phil’s leadership, Beam Suntory’s GTR team will be divided into three operating groups: Global Accounts, Emerging Markets and a centralized marketing team. This main strategy will allow the business to deliver enhanced support to its retail partners and take a more shopper-centric approach to brand-building across markets.

The establishment of the Global Accounts team, led by Sales Director Global Accounts, Simon Knapp, will provide comprehensive support to global customers including Heinemann, Dufry, Lagardere and Aer Rianta. The Emerging Markets team, headed by Sales Director Emerging Markets, Cruise and 3rd Party, Ashish Gandham, has been carefully assembled to assist the fast-moving pace of the developing markets in travel retail.

In addition, a new centralized marketing model and agile-driven approach will deliver industry-leading customer and shopper experiences across the globe. This centralized GTR marketing team is led by Ed Stening, Director of Marketing, who joined Beam Suntory in 2018.

Since September 2019, new roles have been created to support this new GTR operating model. With these expanded resources, Beam Suntory GTR will be well-placed to deliver its ambitious growth plans and provide a stronger infrastructure for its mission to be Beam Suntory’s premium connection to the global explorer.

“We are delighted to welcome Phil Restall to the GTR team this year, as we strive to support our customers during this unprecedented time. The evolved structure and increased resources of Beam Suntory’s GTR team will revolutionize how we service customers, putting them firmly at the center of everything we do. We recognize there are differences between emerging and global accounts, meaning there is an absolute need to establish the right structure and processes to support their models,” says Rosair.

Brand innovation pipeline

Beam Suntory will also be investing in the premiumization of its GTR portfolio through an exciting innovation pipeline. Earlier this year, Beam Suntory GTR announced the release of two Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1965 Vintage Washback editions, exclusive to DFS. Master craftsman, John Galvin, has designed and created the limited-edition pieces using the authentic Oregon pine from Bowmore’s No.1 washback, inlaid with sterling silver tree rings to reflect the age of the whisky. The custom-made cabinets were unveiled at the DFS Group Masters of Wines and Spirits 2020 exhibition in Singapore.

November 2019 saw the announcement of Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky as the new exclusive spirits partner of Aston Martin Lagonda. This prestigious partnership will see the two British luxury brands come together to provide an exclusive series of outstanding products and experiences, starting with the unveiling of Black Bowmore DB5 1964. With only 25 bottles for sale, the exceptionally rare Black Bowmore DB5 1964 is a celebration of time; a definitive moment in history for both Bowmore and Aston Martin.

In October 2019, Beam Suntory GTR announced the release of a super-premium 25-year-old Laphroaig, celebrating the life of Bessie Williamson, an icon of Laphroaig and the first female distillery manager to own and run a Scotch whisky distillery in the 20th century. This unique bottle, available exclusively in GTR, is a tribute to Bessie and embodies many of her qualities including her warm, rich and unmistakably-Islay character.

“The innovation pipeline [Beam Suntory] has planned is truly second-to-none, with the partnership between Bowmore and Aston Martin setting a strong precedent for more exciting announcements to come. The union of these two iconic luxury brands is a landmark moment in Bowmore’s long-standing history and the synergy between these two brands, when it comes to developing premium offerings, is undeniable. We have some very special launches on the horizon, which we look forward to sharing in more detail soon,” adds Rosair.

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