Brown-Forman to purchase BenRiach Distillery Company of Scotland

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Paul Varga will retire this year as chief executive officer of Louisville-based Brown-Forman, the spirits company announced Tuesday.

Varga has been CEO since 2005. He will be replaced by Lawson E. Whiting, the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Varga will remain on the Brown-Forman board after he steps down on Dec. 31, the company said in a news release.

“It has been a privilege to serve Brown-Forman over the last three decades,” Varga said in a statement. “In determining the best time to implement the final piece of this succession plan, I naturally considered the readiness of the company to navigate a leadership transition such as this, and now is the right time.”

Brown-Forman makes prominent bourbon Woodford Reserve and iconic whiskey Jack Daniel’s, as well as Finlandia vodka, Herradura and El Jimador tequila and other brands.

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