Facundo L. Bacardi
Chairman of the Board, Bacardi Limited
Facundo L. Bacardi is the great-great-grandson of company founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó and was appointed Chairman of the Board in 2005.
Q: How do you feel the company has changed since its founding in 1862 by your great-great-grandfather?
“In many ways the company has seen dramatic changes. Bacardi has grown from a company with one brand, BACARDI rum, into the largest privately-held spirits company in the world, with a portfolio of iconic global drinks brands.
“In some ways the company hasn’t changed. Bacardi remains a vibrant family business that for 150 years has maintained an unrivalled reputation for expertise, innovation and quality.”
Q: What do you think Don Facundo would have thought of it all — the growth from his El Matadero Street distillery to Bacardi becoming one of the biggest brands in the world?
“He would be immensely proud of what his family has achieved, and particularly proud that the passion, dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit he first demonstrated 150 years ago have been key to our success, through generations of his family, and continue to be to this day.
“Our 150-year history has not been without its challenges. To not only survive, but to flourish against a backdrop of war, earthquakes, epidemic disease, the Prohibition era and the Cuban revolution, is testament to the family traits passed on by Don Facundo that remain at the heart of our family.”
Q: What is next for Bacardi — how will it approach the next era in its history?
“Our well-deserved reputation for innovation is as strong today as it has ever been.
“As stewards of a company that has been passed on for seven generations, it is crucial that we take a long-term view in all we do.
“We have built a focused luxury brand portfolio with authenticity and staying power — and we look toward an even more prosperous future.”
Q: As Cuba gradually opens up to the world and foreign investment, do you see an opportunity for Bacardi to return to its roots?
“Our heritage and our roots are Cuban. Our iconic brand was born in Cuba, so yes, we would like to return to our roots when the time is right.
“We remain proud of our Cuban heritage, and have supported the Cuban people in times of need as the company did from its founding in 1862.
“We look forward to a time when we can return and reinvest in our homeland.”
Q: What do you feel your great-great-grandfather Don Facundo’s legacy is?
“Don Facundo revolutionized the spirits world when he created BACARDI Superior Rum — the world’s first premium light-bodied rum.
“BACARDI Rum was so innovative it inspired early cocktail pioneers to create a whole new genre of cocktails that were crisp, light and with a fresh taste. “These BACARDI cocktails date back more than a century but they will live forever.”
Q: Which achievements in the past 150 years do you feel he would be most proud of?
“The Company’s transformation from humble beginnings to the largest privately-held spirits company in the world is an incredible achievement and would, I’m sure, make Don Facundo feel very proud.
“The revolutionary rum that he created is now the world’s favourite and best-selling rum.
“You can imagine what that means to me personally and the pride that I feel as we continue to receive awards for the quality of our taste and the innovations that we are making today, by pursuing the same philosophy as Don Facundo and his ancestors.
“He would be proud of the fact that Bacardi as a family, company and a brand has brought enjoyment to billions of people around the world with its revolutionary rum and the delicious tasting cocktails it has inspired for the last 150 years.”