By  on March 23, 2012

Paul Varga, chairman and chief executive officer of Brown-Forman Corp., has been elected to the board of Macy’s Inc.

The addition of Varga increases the size of the board to 11 members. The number will return to 10 following Macy’s annual meeting on May 18, when Joseph Pichler, the former chairman of The Kroger Co., retires after 14 years as a director.

Varga joined Brown-Forman in 1986 as a summer intern and managed its Jack Daniel’s brand and served as chief marketing officer of its beverage subsidiary before being appointed ceo in 2005 and chairman in 2007. The firm is a global marketer of beverage alcohol brands including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia and Chambord, which registered sales of $3.4 billion during 2011.

Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and ceo of Macy’s, called Varga “a dynamic business leader and strategic thinker with an impressive track record in building and marketing global brands. He will be an important addition to our board as we continue to develop Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s as distinct brands and destinations for shoppers domestically and internationally. Given that Paul began with Brown-Forman as a summer intern and worked his way up the organization’s ranks, he also is an advocate for strong management development environments, which is a hallmark of Macy’s Inc.”

Macy’s operates 840 department stores and concluded fiscal 2011 with sales of $26.41 billion.

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