Brown-Forman Announces Change in Board of Directors Chair

January 27, 2021

Succession Reinforces Long-term Focus of the 150-year-old Company

January 27, 2021, LOUISVILLE, KY – Brown-Forman Corporation announces today that after 14 years of distinguished service as Board Chair, G. Garvin  Brown IV will retire from the Board of Directors in July. He will be succeeded by  Campbell P. Brown, who will assume the Chair role at the company’s Annual  Meeting of Stockholders. 

“Brown-Forman has endured and thrived as an independent beverage alcohol company in part because of our deliberate and well-planned leadership  transitions, like the one being announced today,” said Garvin Brown. “Over the  past several years, I have worked with our Lead Independent Director and Chair  of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee, John Cook, to prepare  for a thoughtful transition. Now, as we conclude our 150th year as an  independent, family-controlled distillery, the time is right to entrust leadership  of the Board to Campbell. He brings to this position a deep knowledge of brand  building, commercial and corporate strategy, and a profound appreciation for  the company, its people, and its many stakeholders.” 

“Garvin’s steady hand these last 14 years has helped the Board of Directors navigate skillfully through a global recession, portfolio re-shaping, significant  capital investments, a CEO transition, and more recently a global pandemic,”  said Lawson Whiting, President and CEO, Brown-Forman Corporation. “He has  been an invaluable partner to me, and an effective leader of the broader Board,  given his instincts and experience as a true brand builder and business  strategist. Perhaps most importantly, Garvin has exemplified the values at the  core of Brown-Forman and recognized that our ambition to ‘enrich the  experience of life’ requires an unwavering commitment to a culture of diversity  and inclusion and a focus on environmental, social, and governance factors  relevant to our company. His support of this work has been evident not only in  the way he embodied these ideals, but the emphasis he places on them in the  boardroom and beyond.”   

During Garvin Brown’s tenure as the Board Chair, the Board’s stewardship contributed to Brown-Forman delivering top-tier total shareholder return over  the long term, reliable top line growth, industry-leading return on invested  capital, and recognition as an S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrat, marking 76  consecutive years of paying regular quarterly dividends and 37 consecutive  years of dividend increases. 

Garvin Brown added, “As I approach my retirement from Board service, I do so knowing the company is in excellent hands and that this transition is happening  from a position of strength. Our company is resilient, as evidenced by our ability  to withstand the uncertainty and upheaval of 2020, and it’s this resiliency that  has allowed us to implement these changes with confidence. Together, Lawson  and Campbell bring more than 50 years of beverage alcohol brand-building  experience to Brown-Forman and in partnership with the Board, the  management team, dedicated employees, and committed shareholders, the  company has a bright future and will continue to thrive.” 

“It’s been a privilege to lead the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee since 2011, during which time we’ve worked on and outlined long term succession planning projects such as this one, and the 2018 announcement  on CEO succession,” said John Cook. “In Campbell, we see a true leader who has a  history of brand building and a full understanding of the company’s culture and  values. He is the right person to assume the role of Chair and to help steward  Brown-Forman as we create long-term shareholder value.” 

Campbell Brown said, “I am deeply honored by the Board’s decision to appoint me as its incoming Chair. Garvin and John, working alongside Lawson, have  created an effective and dynamic Board. It will be my great pleasure to serve in  this role and continue the journey George Garvin Brown set us on when he  pledged Brown-Forman’s ambition, distilled into five simple words, that there is  ‘Nothing Better in the Market.’” 

This transition will be completed at the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

Garvin Brown

Garvin Brown is a great-great grandson of the company’s founder. He began his career with Brown-Forman in 1996 as a wine salesperson in Metro New York  and progressed through a series of corporate and operational roles. Notably,  Garvin served as the Brand Director for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey for  Europe and Africa and Managing Director of Western Europe and Africa, two  roles that further developed his skills as a brand and business leader. He joined  the Board of Directors in 2006 as part of a planned transition between the fourth  and fifth generations of the Brown family and assumed the responsibilities of Chair of the Board when Owsley Brown II relinquished them in 2007. Garvin is  also a founding member of the Brown-Forman/Brown Family Shareholders Committee and a Board member of DendriFund, a foundation focused on the  sustainability of elements needed to create excellent bourbon whiskey – wood,  water, and grain. 

Campbell P. Brown 

Campbell P. Brown, 53, also a great-great grandson of the company’s founder, has been with Brown-Forman for 26 years. Campbell started his career as part of  Brown-Forman’s march to globalization, leading business development efforts  in critical emerging markets such as India and Turkey. Upon his return to the  U.S., he progressively acquired more responsibility leading brand and  commercial efforts and increasingly larger teams. Campbell managed Jack  Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and, most recently, has been stewarding the  renaissance of the company’s founding brand as President of Old Forester. He is  also a founding member of the Brown-Forman/Brown Family Shareholders  Committee, served on the board of DendriFund, and joined the Brown-Forman  Board of Directors in 2016. Campbell serves on the Board of Directors for the  Kentucky Distillers Association, representing Brown-Forman’s interests in its  home state.  

Brown-Forman Corporation 

For 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack  Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee RTDs, Jack Daniel’s  Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s  Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester,  Coopers’ Craft, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, BenRiach,  GlenDronach, Slane, and Fords Gin. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by  approximately 4,800 employees and sold in more than 170 countries worldwide.  For more information about the company, please visit http://www.brown 

Elizabeth Conway, Director

Brown-Forman Brand and External Communications

[email protected]



Important Information on Forward-Looking Statements: 

This press release contains statements, estimates, and projections that are “forward-looking statements” as defined under U.S. federal securities laws.  Words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “aspire,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,”  “envision,” “estimate,” “expect,” “expectation,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,”  “potential,” “project,” “pursue,” “see,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and  similar words indicate forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date we make them. Except as required by law, we do not intend to update or  revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,  future events, or otherwise. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve  risks, uncertainties, and other factors (many beyond our control) that could  cause our actual results to differ materially from our historical experience or  from our current expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties  include, but are not limited to: 

  • Impact of health epidemics and pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting negative economic impact and related governmental actions 
  • Risks associated with being a U.S.-based company with global operations, including commercial, political, and financial risks; local labor policies and conditions; protectionist trade policies, or economic or trade sanctions, including additional retaliatory tariffs  on American spirits and the effectiveness of our actions to mitigate  the negative impact on our margins, sales, and distributors; compliance with local trade practices and other regulations; terrorism; and health pandemics
  • Failure to comply with anti-corruption laws, trade sanctions and restrictions, or similar laws or regulations
  • Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, particularly a stronger U.S. dollar
  • Changes in laws, regulatory measures, or governmental policies – especially those that affect the production, importation, marketing, labeling, pricing, distribution, sale, or consumption of our beverage alcohol products 
  • Tax rate changes (including excise, sales, VAT, tariffs, duties, corporate, individual income, dividends, or capital gains) or changes in related reserves, changes in tax rules or accounting standards, and  the unpredictability and suddenness with which they can occur 
  • Unfavorable global or regional economic conditions, particularly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and related economic slowdowns or recessions, low consumer confidence, high unemployment, weak  credit or capital markets, budget deficits, burdensome government  debt, austerity measures, higher interest rates, higher taxes, political  instability, higher inflation, deflation, lower returns on pension  assets, or lower discount rates for pension obligations
  • Dependence upon the continued growth of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands
  • Changes in consumer preferences, consumption, or purchase patterns – particularly away from larger producers in favor of small distilleries or local producers, or away from brown spirits, our  premium products, or spirits generally, and our ability to anticipate  or react to them; legalization of marijuana use on a more widespread  basis; shifts in consumer purchase practices from traditional to e commerce retailers; bar, restaurant, travel, or other on-premise declines; shifts in demographic or health and wellness trends; or  unfavorable consumer reaction to new products, line extensions,  package changes, product reformulations, or other product innovation
  • Decline in the social acceptability of beverage alcohol in significant markets
  • Production facility, aging warehouse, or supply chain disruption
  • Imprecision in supply/demand forecasting
  • Higher costs, lower quality, or unavailability of energy, water, raw materials, product ingredients, labor, or finished goods
  • Significant additional labeling or warning requirements or limitations on availability of our beverage alcohol products
  • Competitors’ and retailers’ consolidation or other competitive activities, such as pricing actions (including price reductions, promotions, discounting, couponing, or free goods), marketing,  category expansion, product introductions, or entry or expansion in  our geographic markets or distribution networks 
  • Route-to-consumer changes that affect the timing of our sales, temporarily disrupt the marketing or sale of our products, or result in higher fixed costs 
  • Inventory fluctuations in our products by distributors, wholesalers, or retailers
  • Risks associated with acquisitions, dispositions, business partnerships, or investments – such as acquisition integration,  termination difficulties or costs, or impairment in recorded value • Counterfeiting and inadequate protection of our intellectual  property rights
  • Product recalls or other product liability claims, product tampering, contamination, or quality issues
  • Significant legal disputes and proceedings, or government investigations
  • Cyber breach or failure or corruption of key information technology systems, or failure to comply with personal data protection laws Negative publicity related to our company, products, brands, marketing, executive leadership, employees, board of directors,  family stockholders, operations, business performance, or prospects Failure to attract or retain key executive or employee talent Our status as a family “controlled company” under New York Stock  Exchange rules, and our dual-class share structure 

For further information on these and other risks, please refer to our public  filings, including the “Risk Factors” section of our annual report on Form 10-K  and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange  Commission.

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly