August 8, 2013- With the future of Whyte & Mackay in question as the UK’s Office of Fair Trading looks at potential competition issues following Diageo’s acquisition of a controlling stake in W&M parent company United Spirits, the unit’s CEO is returning to corporate headquarters in India.

Just-Drinks.com reports Ashwin Malik has stepped aside, saying that while he enjoyed his time in Scotland, now was the time for he and his family to return to India. Malik has been replaced by veteran drinks industry executive John Beard, who has left his role as CEO of Bacardi Brown-Forman’s UK operations to join Whyte & Mackay. Beard told Just-Drinks.com:

“I have met with (UB Group chairman) Dr Mallya personally, and there is no doubt in my mind that he is committed to this company, committed to building great premium brands, and committed to making Whyte & Mackay a major international spirits company. I am looking forward to doing my bit to help that become a reality.”

In a related development, Jorge Gutierrez, who left Whyte & Mackay as head of its Americas regional unit last month, has landed as CEO at Voli Vodka. Gutierrez also took Lee Strader, who was one of Whyte & Mackay’s top sales executives in the US, to Voli as national sales director.

Links: Whyte & Mackay | United Spirits | Voli Vodka