- Ann Mukherjee, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America, is among three recognized by Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Ann Mukherjee, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America is among recipients of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (AALDEF) 2021 Justice in Action Award, presented on March 4 at the organization’s virtual lunar new year gala. Other recipients of the awards are Juju Chang, ABC News’ Nightline co-host and Ronny Chieng, comedian, actor, and Daily Show correspondent. AAFDEF is a New York-based national organization founded in 1974, protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans.
Mukherjee leads Pernod Ricard, the world’s second largest distiller, and maker of Absolut Vodka, Chivas Regal scotch, Jameson, Malibu Rum, Kahlua and other spirit brands.
“One of the reasons I joined Pernod Ricard is because at its core, they believe in this notion of conviviality,” Mukherjee told Forbes in a Oct. 5, 2020 interview. “Any organization I step into needs to have a purpose and shared values so that I can bring my whole self to work. When you step into an organization that shares your values, that’s when the alchemy happens. Your values should drive you.”
She told Fast Company that although she seems like an unlikely choice to head an alcohol company, one of the reasons she took the job is personal. “Alcohol has played a very difficult role in my life,” she told the magazine. “It felt like destiny. Something was telling me from the universe: Don’t complain about it. Do something about it.” She told the magazine that at age 4, she was assaulted by a man who was inebriated. Years later, when she was a teenager, her mother was killed by a drunk driver. And as an adult, Mukherjee was in an abusive relationship in which, she says, “alcohol played a role.”
Given her personal history, Mukherjee told the magazine she has always been cognizant of how alcohol has been consumed. And has been true especially during the pandemic. Over the summer, Pernod Ricard joined more than 1,000 advertisers in boycotting Facebook for a month, a response to the company’s inaction on hate speech and misinformation., the magazine said. Along with that the company introduced “a new initiative to help fight hate speech which is slated to launch early this year and will provide advertisers, including small and mid-sized businesses, with a tool that allows them to easily track and report content.”
Mukherjee has nearly 30 years of experience in marketing and sales functions. She started her career in 1992 at Citibank Diners Club in the New Product Department. In 1994, she joined the Kraft Foods Group where she spent nearly 11 years managing a number of key brands. In 2005, she joined PepsiCo in New York where she worked for 10 years.
First appointed Marketing Vice President for Quaker Snacks, she then became SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Frito-Lay in 2009, and president of Global Snacks and PepsiCo Global Insights five years later. In November 2015, she joined S.C. Johnson & Son as the company’s first-ever Global Chief Marketing Officer. Then later nominated as Global Chief Commercial Officer, she has been responsible for the $12 billion consumer global business division that is present in more than 90 markets.
Mukherjee has received many honors throughout her career, notably, she was named as one of Forbes Top 50 most influential CMOs and also as “Marketer of the Year” by Brand Week. she holds two degrees from the University of Chicago – a double Bachelor of Arts in Economics and in Religious Theology as well as an MBA in Finance from the Booth School of Business.