Bacardi mourns loss of Edwin H. Nielsen
July 26, 2011
Hamilton, Bermuda, July 26, 2011 — Facundo L. Bacardi, chairman of Bacardi Limited, today expressed regret that Edwin H. Nielsen—a man who dedicated his life to the Bacardi company and played a critical role in its success—passed away. Mr. Nielsen was the great-grandson of Company founder, Don Facundo Bacardí Massó. He died Sunday night in Spain at the age of 93.
Born in Santiago de Cuba, raised and educated in the United States, Mr. Nielsen proudly served heroically in World War II—and received four medals—the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, European Campaign and the Victory Medal. He landed the day after D-Day in Normandy and then made his way to Germany.
He began his career after the war as a cattle rancher in Cuba until the Cuban revolution, when his beloved ranch was confiscated. He left Cuba with his family and went to work for Bacardi Mexico in 1960. There he had the position of assistant manager.
Mr. Nielsen helped establish a stable transition for the Company and the Bacardi family following the confiscation of the Company’s assets in Cuba.
In 1963, he was promoted and transferred to the United States. There he became vice president of the U.S. operations—Bacardi Imports, U.S. and was later promoted to president.
“Mr. Nielsen was deeply admired and respected for his collective style of leadership, commitment and devotion to employees that imbued a philosophy that every employee should be treated like a family member,” said Facundo L. Bacardi. “He was highly regarded by the U.S. distributor network.”
During his tenure, in 1975, BACARDI rum became the number one premium spirits brand in the United States and the following year, BACARDI rum solidified its place as number one in the world.
In the 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s, Mr. Nielsen furthered the Company’s international expansion to markets that today represent the largest markets for the BACARDI trademark.
For more than a decade, he also served as chairman of the board of Bacardi Imports, U.S. For greater organization, he then established a board of directors to coordinate the activities of other Bacardi companies in the world and he served as its president.
In 1992, when Bacardi Limited was founded by the joining of five separate Bacardi companies, he became a director. He retired from Bacardi Limited in 2001.
“We have lost an individual who contributed to the great history and growth of this Company. His accomplishments and legacy will remain a part of Bacardi forever,” added Mr. Bacardi.
About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held spirits company in the world and produces and markets a variety of internationally recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio consists of more than 200 brands and labels, including some of the world’s favorite and best-known products: BACARDI® rum, the world’s favorite and best-selling premium rum as well as the world’s most awarded rum; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world-leader in super premium vodka; DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, the number-one selling blended Scotch whisky in the United States; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top-valued and fastest-growing premium gin in the world; MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, the world-leader in vermouth; CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, the number-one premium tequila in Mexico and a top-selling premium tequila in the United States; and other leading and emerging brands.
Family-owned Bacardi was founded in Santiago de Cuba, February 4, 1862, and currently employs more than 6,000 people, manufactures its brands at 27 facilities in 16 countries on four continents, and sells in more than 100 markets globally.
Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.