IRI Names Hurst Practice Leader of Beer, Wine, Spirits & Tobacco

Beverage vet was with Moet Hennessy USA, Diageo, Nielsen's Beverage Data Network

Published in CSP Daily News

CHICAGO -- Information Resources Inc. (IRI), a global leader in solutions and services for consumer, retail and over-the-counter healthcare companies, has named Richard Hurst to the newly created position of practice leader of IRI's beer, wine, spirits and tobacco vertical.

Hurst will report directly to Piyush Chaudhari, president of the Americas IRI.

"Richard is an ideal fit for this role given his 35 years of experience and extensive background in the industry, both in the United States and internationally," said Chaudhari. "He brings a proven track record in strategy and portfolio development, mergers and acquisitions and driving major change for leading corporations in the beverage alcohol and information services industries. His work has consistently contributed to improved practice area results and accelerated levels of growth."

Prior to joining Chicago-based IRI, Hurst spent several years as an independent consultant to beverage alcohol clients, most recently with Moet Hennessy USA, the U.S. wine and spirits arm of the global luxury goods company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and a long-term IRI client. Other assignments focused on the development of "New World" wines and other alcoholic beverages in the United States and globally.

From 2006 to 2009, Hurst served as senior vice president of beverage alcohol at The Nielsen Co. In that role, he oversaw all of Nielsen's beverage alcohol activities and its relationships with more than 150 suppliers and distributors of beer, wine and spirits. He joined Nielsen as a result of the sale of Beverage Data Network LLC, of which he was president, to Nielsen. Beverage Data Network was a leading U.S. processor of wine and spirits wholesaler sales data.

Hurst spent the majority of his career with Diageo, rising to senior vice president of corporate strategy. During the course of 25 years, Hurst played key roles in developing Diageo's strategy for strengthening the company's relationships with its U.S. distributors, as well as charting the course for acquisitions and alliances around the world.

"I am confident that, under Richard's leadership, IRI's beer, wine, spirits and tobacco business will achieve great success in the coming years, building upon our already strong foundation," said Chaudhari.