Scotch Whisky Association announces new chief executive

26 November, 2021

The former British ambassador to Argentina will succeed Karen Betts as the chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association.

Mark Kent has spent the past three decades working for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

He served as the ambassador to Thailand and ambassador to Vietnam before moving to Argentina. He has also worked in Mexico City, Brasilia and the European Union.

Betts is leaving in December 2021 to take over as chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, and Kent will begin in January 2022.

“I am delighted to have been appointed as CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association,” said Kent. “As a former Ambassador, I know in what high regard the Scotch Whisky industry and the SWA is held worldwide.

“After a challenging period, I’m looking forward to helping the industry to unleash its full potentialand enable people across the globe to discover and enjoy our premium and iconic product. The Scotch Whisky industry has a fantastic history, great stories to tell and continues to innovate. I can’t wait to get started.”

Scott McCroskie, chair of the SWA Council, added: “Mark brings with him an outstanding depth of experience which will allow the SWA to continue to support the industry’s interests around the world. 

“We look forward to working with him as the industry looks to make new ground in key growth markets and build a sustainable future for the industry by continuing our push towards net-zero.”

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