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Front Page » Profile » Pete Carr: Building growth as president of Bacardi North America

Pete Carr: Building growth as president of Bacardi North America

Written by on March 31, 2020
Pete Carr: Building growth as president of Bacardi North America


As president of Bacardi North America, Pete Carr oversees the stateside operations of the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company on the planet. It’s a demanding job that starts before the sun rises and concludes hours after sunset.

“My days either start in an airport or in a gym here,” he said. “It usually ends at a bar, having a cocktail, listening to people or talking to bartenders so I can get their insights and ideas. Our best ideas don’t come from consultants. They come from people that serve our brands, day in, day out.”

In the hours between, he said, “it’s crazy,” full of meetings, strategic planning, data analyses and communications with other leaders in the company, which in its 158 years has developed a portfolio of more than 200 brands and labels, including key acquisitions like Patrón tequila, Grey Goose vodka and Bombay Sapphire gin.

Each brand is marketed differently, based on its unique history and cultural connections across the world. Culture is vital in marketing and creating brand loyalty, he said, but it’s also equally as important in running a company like Bacardi.

“You hear that culture trumps strategy any day of the week. As a matter of fact, it eats it for lunch, once you get the culture right within an organization,” he said. “We have a 96% rating of engagement with our primos – the employees at work here – because it’s all family, which is phenomenal. It all starts with how you treat people, what opportunities you give them to develop.”

In that same “spirit,” Bacardi this year donated $5 million to Florida International University to create a new education program tailored to the spirits industry.

The new program, set to launch at the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, is “a great opportunity for” the company to give back to the community while also helping Bacardi brands to be many drinkers’ first choice for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages alike.

“What better way to get young bartenders, teach them how to make cocktails and then go out into the hospitality business?” he said. “They end up in a bar, a restaurant – at the Fontainebleau – and Bacardi is the perfect pair for that.”

Mr. Carr sat down with reporter Jesse Scheckner.

The interview, recorded by Jahmoukie Dayle, can be viewed below.


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2 Responses to Pete Carr: Building growth as president of Bacardi North America


    April 1, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Meanwhile I read this I HAVE IN RADIO 710 AM RADIO MAMBI program LOURDES DE KENDALL that mention BACARDI turn his production of alcohol to do hand sanitizer

    710 brickell was the adress for the radio 710 am that can be hear in CUBA
    Pretty building historic but no so old to be saved.

    In February I was asking at cvc pharmacy for ALCOHOLATO the employed didn’t
    know I explain is alcohol etilico with acido borico the employed didn’t
    what was alcohol etilico knows only isopropilico.

    CUBA before revolution ALCOHOLATO was made by Ron ARRECHABALA and the DROGUERIA SARRA sell the liter in $ 1

  2. William Belkin

    April 3, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Many years ago Pete Carr did a remarkable, almost unheard of customer centric thing: he personally phoned me during his Christmas, family ski trip to Colorado. I was a category manager for an 11 store chain and I had sent a “to who it may concern” to Bacardi Miami to voice concerns about allocations of their Angel’s Envy label. Pete personally called and told me all of the back story of the brand and allocations and personally promised that we would be taken care of. Almost a year later he called me again and said all was a go! It was! Product was delivered by local SGWS house. What a cool guy! President!? Perfect job! Thanks Pete! Continued success! BB