Brown-Forman has announced that Diane Nguyen will enter the role as Chief People, Places, and Communications Officer on 1 August, with Kristen Hawley stepping down from the position to retire on 9 August.

Nguyen currently serves as Senior Vice President, Human Resources Director, Global Commercial and Corporate Teams, and has been with Brown-Forman for 16 years. In her roles with Brown-Forman, she has influenced employee experience through all aspects of the business, and has strong human resources and organisational development expertise. Prior to joining Brown-Forman, Nguyen worked at Colgate-Palmolive and Homecare & Hospital Management. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Kentucky University and her master’s degree in business administration from University of Louisville.

As Chief People, Places, and Communications Officer, Nguyen will be charged with building the culture, people, processes, and structures that enable Brown-Forman to achieve its strategic ambitions. She will also manage corporate communications and workplace strategies, ensuring that these reflect the company’s values and objectives.

Lawson Whiting, President and Chief Executive Officer, Brown-Forman, said that Nguyen’s career experience makes her well-suited to the new role.

“I am delighted to welcome Diane to the role of chief people, places, and communications officer and to our executive leadership team. Her human resources experience, strategic talent management expertise, dedication to our culture, and cross-cultural business acumen make her an exceptionally well-suited leader for this role,” he said.

Whiting also thanked Hawley for her service to the company, which has spanned almost three decades.

“Kirsten has been a trusted advisor who has helped evolve Brown-Forman’s organization to thrive for the next generation. She has been instrumental in championing our values and culture, developing leaders and teams, and introducing policies and programs that have positively impacted organizational performance.

Hawley joined Brown-Forman in 1997, having served in a variety of roles across human resources, marketing and communications throughout her tenure. Hawley was named chief human resources officer in 2015, with her role expanding in 2019 to include responsibility for global corporate communications. She also recently assumed responsibility for Brown-Forman’s global real estate portfolio.

Prior to her roles with Brown-Forman, Hawley worked as a research assistant for the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, Germany, and as an outplacement counselor for the Department of the Army. She has a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communications from James Madison University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Boston University.

Whiting wished Hawley well for her upcoming retirement.

“Among her greatest legacies are creating and implementing a people strategy that helped guide our organization through on-going global expansion, stewarding our culture during a global pandemic and its aftermath, and further strengthening our corporate brand. We wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement.”

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