Brown-Forman announces change in Jack Daniel’s leadership

Larry Combs and Melvin Keebler

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Though it’s been standard operating procedure at the distillery for several months now, Jack Daniel’s parent company Brown-Forman officially announced a change in leadership recently.

Former Jack Daniel General Manager Larry Combs has been promoted to the newly created role of Chief Information Officer and Director of Supply Chain Integration and Strategy. Melvin Keebler will be taking on the role of General Manager, Jack Daniel Distillery Supply Chain, effective immediately. 

Combs will tackle supply chain issues around the globe

“Supply chains across the globe have been under pressure for the last few years driven in part by a lack of modern technologies to address the stressors. This new role ensures Brown‑Forman is well-positioned to leverage leading applications and technologies that will enhance our global supply chain and on-going operations,” said Tim Nall, Senior Vice President, Chief Global Supply Chain and Technology Officer. 

Combs will be responsible for the strategic direction of Brown‑Forman’s application technologies, enterprise architecture, data and analytics strategy and framework, and portfolio management, as well as the continued development and execution of logistics, procurement, planning, and production strategies.

“Larry’s knowledge of Brown‑Forman’s supply chain, global manufacturing acumen, and record of leading transformational change through technology makes him uniquely qualified to ensure we meet our future supply chain and technology demands and opportunities,” added Nall.

Most recently, Combs served as the Senior Vice President, Global Director, Jack Daniel’s Supply Chain/Procurement/Planning/Logistics. Over his 30-year career at Brown‑Forman, he has worked in a variety of roles including Global Quality Director, Vice President Production Services, and Senior Vice President Technical Services. Combs has been responsible for functions including engineering, R&D, environmental compliance, package engineering, and quality assurance. 

Keebler brings a wealth of experience in distillery and cooperage operations

“With Melvin leading the Jack Daniel Distillery, we’ll continue to ensure best-in-class sourcing, distilling, and bottling of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands. He is a trusted leader that brings a wealth of experience in production and supply chain to this role,” said Nall. 

“Beyond his work at the Distillery and managing Jack Daniel’s global supply chain, Melvin’s engagement and valuable insight with the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative has helped make this important collaboration a success,” continued Nall. 

In addition to leading the Jack Daniel Distillery operations in Lynchburg, Tennessee, Keebler will be responsible for Brown‑Forman Cooperage operations. This includes overseeing the production of new barrels and the process and distribution of used barrels.

Keebler has been with Brown‑Forman for more than 20 years, progressing through numerous leadership roles at the Jack Daniel Distillery including quality, warehousing, engineering, maintenance, production, and used barrels operations. He previously served as the General Manager, Jack Daniel Distillery, where he led all site and homeplace operations. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}