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updated: 7/27/2011 9:22 AM

Fortune Brands CEO to retire at end of the year

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  • Fortune Brands CEO Bruce Carbonari

    Fortune Brands CEO Bruce Carbonari

Associated Press

Deerfield-based Fortune Brands Inc., which makes a variety of products from security items to Jim Beam liquor, said Wednesday that its Chairman and CEO Bruce Carbonari will retire at the end of the year, as plans for its separation into two separate public companies continue.
Carbonari said in a statement that he will serve as an adviser during the transition period and will then take some time off before deciding what to do next in his career. He has served as Fortune Brands CEO since 2008.

Last month Fortune said its separation plans, which are expected to finish early in the fourth quarter, were on track. The consumer goods company anticipates that its home and security business, Fortune Brands Home & Security, will likely trade under the "FBHS" ticker symbol. Its spirits company, which will be renamed Beam Inc., is expected to trade under the "BEAM" ticker symbol. Fortune's current "FO" ticker will be discontinued.

Matt Shattock is set to serve as Beam's CEO, while Chris Klein will become CEO of Fortune Brands Home & Security. Shattock has served as CEO of Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. since April 2009, while Klein has been CEO of Fortune Brands Home & Security LLC since January 2010, according to CapitalIQ.

The company said once the planned separation is complete, Fortune board member David Mackay will become Beam Inc.'s nonexecutive chairman. Mackay, a board member since 2006, is former CEO of Kellogg Co.
Fortune Brands Home & Security's nonexecutive chairman will be David Thomas, a Fortune Brands board member and former chairman and CEO of IMS Health Inc. Thomas has served as a lead director for Fortune Brands since 2007 and has been part of its board since 2000.
Nine of Fortune Brands' current board members will serve on one or both of the new boards, the company said. The boards expect to add at least one more member after the businesses separate. The separation is still subject to final board approval.

Fortune, based in Deerfield, Ill., also is shedding units that make Moen faucets and Master Locks. It plans to complete the $1.23 billion sale of its Acushnet Co. golf business, which makes Titleist golf balls, by the end of the month to a group led by Fila Korea and Mirae Asset Private Equity.
The changes follow the arrival of activist investor William Ackman and his hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management. They took an 11 percent stake in Fortune last October, becoming the largest shareholder.

Ackman is known for pushing for change at companies where he has large stakes, such as Borders Group Inc. and Target Corp. most recently.