The American Spirit

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Date Submitted: 08/19/2011 08:57 AM

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American Spirit!

MGT 435: Implementing Organizational Change


June 21, 2011

In the industry of the makers of spirits across continents with different offerings there is one company that has made a remarkable turnaround even in these past few years of economic diversity. The company is an integral part of the Fortune Brands holding organization and has quickly become a major player in the Fortune Brands recent market success. The company being referred to is Jim Beam of which there is now an Asian division as well as United States and several other regions around the globe. The company has made the turnaround and global presence while acquiring several other players in the bourbon market…that’s change to be reckoned with! (Sibun, 2011)

In and of itself what sparked the change is quite remarkable. Fortune Brands owns Jim Beam which is the largest of the liquor manufactures. Beam is the controlling owner of brands from Maker's Mark to Knob Creek. Follow the diversity of the company and total acquisitions and a formula of Wall Street success emerges. The main player sparking the contributing factor for change is the recently appointed CEO that was picked by Fortune Brands to lead the Jim Beam spirits business out of the demerger wilderness. The CEO, Matt Shattock, a Brit and ex tank troop commander in the Queen’s Own Hussars regimen is hardly what we would expect as a leader for “American” bourbon… let alone bourbon originating from the deep southern regions of Kentucky. When people think of the origins of bourbon, it is the Commonwealth of Kentucky that comes to mind. Just as Guinness is connected to Dublin…that is a little closer to home for Mr. Shattock. The Beam Americas bourbon sales this past year rose at a greater rate than the rest of the market with an 11% increase vs. 4.3%. With the Fortune company getting ready to demerge and set up the spirits business as a standalone entity, the UK spirits conglomerate Diageo is...