Sophie Kelly

Sr. Vice President of North American Whiskeys Portfolio, and Baileys, Diageo

With a global advertising career spanning more than two decades and fourcontinents, Sophie Kelly has established herself as a business-minded creativeforce, and an agent of change.  She has a proven combination oftraditional brand marketing knowledge and digital expertise, allowing her to bea valued partner for brands, agencies and colleagues alike, in their journeysto transform marketing and communications.  

Sophie joined Diageo in 2016 as the Senior Vice President of Diageo’sindustry-leading Whisk(e)y portfolio in North America. In that role she’s ledgrowth on some of the most iconic and valuable brands in the category.  She is also responsible for a group ofdistilleries and brand homes that include the historic Stitzel-Weller, known asthe “Cathedral of Bourbon,” and the new $115 million Bulleit Distilling Co. inKentucky.  She is enjoying crafting thefuture of North American Whiskey. Mostrecently she brought on entrepreneur and award-winning distiller Nicole Austinto lead the Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., home to George Dickel TennesseeWhisky.

In her previous role as CEO of The Barbarian Group, Sophie transformedthe company from a small, innovative digital production shop to a tech-forwardcreative company that provided everything from brand planning, to creative, totechnology and experience design.  Duringher tenure the agency was the inaugural winner of the Cannes Lions InnovationGrand Prix, was named to Crain’s Best Places to Work list, and won marqueeaccounts including Pepsi, IBM, Etihad and Kind.

Prior to joining The Barbarian Group, Sophie served as Managing Directorof the agency StrawberryFrog. Previously she acted as Global Business Directorat J. Walter Thompson Worldwide.  

Sophie is known for her approach of always being in service of thebrand.  She also remains committed to doingthe right thing to generate innovative creative ideas that translate intoworld-class work which will drive business results for brands.