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Chief Inefficiency Officer says, “Don’t screw up the whisky!”

So many companies build something great — then go off a cliff when they forget to stop at the top. How are you balancing innovation with execution and tradition? Sometimes it’s OK to stop changing and instead invest your effort in keeping something great.

That’s the challenge facing Rob Samuels as he prepares to take over his family’s Marker’s Mark distillery.

From: Rob Samuels
To: Andy Sernovitz

Hello, Andy.

As the 8th generation of the Samuels family involved with producing whisky in Kentucky (the first five generations made cowboy whisky!) and the grandson of the founders of Maker’s Mark I am deeply committed to Bill’s mandate of “don’t screw up the whisky”!

While Bill has appointed me the Chief Operating Officer, I have renamed the role Chief Inefficiency Officer, in honor of my grandparent’s vision to craft bourbon by hand irrespective of the cost in search of refined, full flavored bourbon.

In fact, a well known whisky writer recently suggested that Maker’s is a “model of inefficiency, by choice”!


Folks, don’t screw up the whisky.

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