The time has come for me to think seriously about management continuity and guardianship of the legacy here at Maker's. I'm over 70, half blind, long in the tooth and probably won't live forever. It's been a great ride so far, and I am far from done yet, but one of the most important responsibilities of any CEO is to plan for a seamless, hiccup-free succession. I am doing just that and wanted you to be among the first to know.
Effective November 1, my son Rob will become Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Maker's, the business his grandparents started 67 years ago. Rob came into the business in late 1995, after ten successful years in sales. Since joining Maker's, Rob has focused on jump-starting our international business, and his efforts have been impressive, with growth outside the U.S. averaging 25% yearly.
Rob's number one responsibility going forward will be to ensure that we don't screw up the whisky, as well as that we continue to hand-make our bourbon exactly the same way Rob's grandparents did. Guardianship first - growth second! I figure you would agree with that. If you have a minute, and are so inclined, I think Rob would really appreciate hearing from you. His e-mail is Rob.Samuels@MakersMark.com.