Managing Director - Bermuda Office
Bacardi International Limited
What does the word ‘Bacardi’ mean to you?
“Bacardi has always been about quality. I have enjoyed the prestige of working for a great company like this over the years. It is about the passion that people have, not only for the brand and our other great products, but passion for the organization. Its about 'best in class'. I don’t think you will find anyone who works for Bacardi who isn’t Proud to be a part of our team."
From teenage angler to big fish, Bermudian Stewart Gurr manages the headquarters of one of the most powerful brands in the world.
“My first memory of Bacardi was entering the Bacardi Angling Tournament at the age of 16/17,” said Mr. Gurr.
“I caught a record fish and remember standing on the dock of the (Fairmont) Hamilton Princess with it, back in the 1970s.”
It was Mr Gurr’s first introduction to the role of the international company in local community life.
And years later, he found himself working at Bacardi International Limited’s global headquarters in Pitts Bay Road — just across the road from the original site of the fishing tournament.
Twenty-five years on, he is responsible for the iconic building as Managing Director of the Bermuda Office, Bacardi International Limited.
Mr Gurr, from Paget, graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an IT degree and from York University, Canada, with a degree in business.
He said: “I joined the company in 1986, in the IT department. Since then I’ve had lots of jobs but that is what is so great about Bacardi in Bermuda. There are lots of opportunities to do different things.”
He has also worked in operations — now called the supply chain, and in global finance.
As a global transportation manager he organized the movement of goods and inventories. This included the shipment of millions of litres of spirits from distilleries in the Caribbean to bottling plants in Europe aboard Bacardi’s own bulk tanker. He also managed plant production in Spain, Germany and the UK.
The “Long Service Employee” also has responsibility for global brand protection — safeguarding Bacardi’s products and ‘intellectual property’.
Mr Gurr, 52, casts a proud look over the company’s role in his home country over the last few decades.
“We were one of the first international companies in Bermuda, and were originally seen as a bit avant-garde I think,” said the father-of-two.
He explained that objections to planning permission for the Bacardi building caused it to be set “way back”.
But it did not take long for the community to embrace the building as one of the island’s landmarks. Over the years the fountains have been pictured in many a wedding album.
“Now we celebrate it,” said Mr. Gurr.
“At Bacardi, we want to be an active participant in the whole community, to be a good corporate citizen and a role model for other companies on the island.
“We’ve been here for almost 50 years and are an example of the success that Bermuda can give to international businesses.
“Bermuda is Bacardi’s adopted home and we are very much about the Bermuda community.”
On the 150th anniversary, Mr Gurr said: “It’s going to be very exciting. We will celebrate throughout the year around the globe. It will be a lot of fun.”