HAMILTON, BERMUDA — Spirits giant Bacardi has hired K.C. Kavanagh as SVP and global chief communications officer, replacing Jim Gallagher who steps down at the end of this year.

Kavanagh joins Bacardi from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where she spent 18 years, most recently as a member of the company’s senior leadership team, leading global communications for the hotel giant and its 11 brands.

Kavanagh reports to Bacardi CEO Mike Dolan and will also work with chairman Facundo L. Bacardi to develop strategic internal and external corporate communications to support the family-owned company’s efforts to drive growth globally.

"We are delighted to welcome K.C. to the Bacardi team," said Dolan in a statement. "Her significant corporate and global experience, coupled with her success in launching and nurturing luxury, lifestyle and next generation brands, dovetails perfectly with our efforts to innovatively market our brands and cultivate meaningful relationships with our consumers around the globe."

Gallagher spent two years as Bacardi CCO, after joining the spirits company from IMG in 2014.