Brown-Forman Taps Nguyen for Executive Post


June 13, 2024


Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BFA,BFB) announced that Diane Nguyen has been named chief people, places, and communications officer and a member of the company’s executive leadership team (ELT), effective August 1. 

Kirsten Hawley, who currently holds this position, announced her intent to retire in May, effective August 9.

“I am delighted to welcome Diane to the role of chief people, places, and communications officer and to our executive leadership team,” Lawson Whiting, president and chief executive officer, Brown-Forman, said in a news release. “Her human resources experience, strategic talent management expertise, dedication to our culture, and cross-cultural business acumen make her an exceptionally well-suited leader for this role.”

As chief people, places, and communications officer, Nguyen will create and execute strategies to build the culture, people, processes, and structures needed to achieve Brown-Forman’s strategic ambitions. She will also manage corporate communications and workplace strategy, ensuring they reflect and reinforce the company’s values and business objectives. 

Nguyen, who currently serves as senior vice president, human resources director, global commercial and corporate teams, has been with Brown-Forman for 16 years and has influenced the employee experience in every facet of the business. Her deep human resources and organizational development expertise has benefited the many areas she has served, including Global Production, Global Marketing, and the commercial divisions of the USA & Canada, Europe, and Emerging International.

Before joining Brown-Forman, Nguyen worked at Colgate-Palmolive and Homecare & Hospital Management. Nguyen received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Kentucky University and her master’s degree in business administration from University of Louisville.

Hawley, the outgoing executive vice president, chief people, places, and communications officer, has served in a variety of roles across human resources, marketing, and communications throughout her almost three decades of service to Brown-Forman, beginning in 1997.

During her tenure in human resources, Hawley led organizational and leadership development and served as a human resources generalist. She spent seven years in the marketing organization as brand manager for a global liqueur brand. In 2013, Hawley joined the ELT and was named chief human resources officer in 2015 with her role expanding in 2019 to include responsibility for global corporate communications. Hawley recently assumed responsibility for Brown-Forman’s global real estate portfolio and best practices in workspace solutions.

“Kirsten has been a trusted advisor who has helped evolve Brown-Forman’s organization to thrive for the next generation. She has been instrumental in championing our values and culture, developing leaders and teams, and introducing policies and programs that have positively impacted organizational performance,” Whiting said. “Among her greatest legacies are creating and implementing a people strategy that helped guide our organization through on-going global expansion, stewarding our culture during a global pandemic and its aftermath, and further strengthening our corporate brand. We wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement.”

Before joining Brown-Forman, Hawley worked as a research assistant for the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, Germany, and as an outplacement counselor for the Department of the Army. Hawley has a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communications from James Madison University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Boston University.

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