by Dave Broom
St. James’s in London is a district of discreet gentlemen’s clubs, bespoke outfitters of all descriptions, cigar shops, auction houses, art dealers, starred restaurants, and wine merchants. It is a place of discretion where you know Big Decisions are made, an area alien to normal mortals, the milieu of the top executive. An appropriate place, therefore, for my interview with David Gates.
You probably won’t have heard his name, but as Diageo’s global category director for whiskies,* he is the person who ultimately dictates the strategy for the world’s biggest distiller’s whisky portfolio—and therefore some of the world’s biggest whisky brands—Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s, J&B, the single malts, Crown Royal, Bulleit, Bushmills, and hundreds more.
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