Domecq plays waiting game for top brass

Our Internet address is: http://www.marketing-week.co.uk/mw0001

The article about our perceived difficulty in recruiting senior executives (MW last week) appears in a section headed News Analysis. Alas, the content was neither news nor analysis. It was speculation.

We are the second-largest company in the worldwide drinks industry, with profits from spirits and wine exceeding 500m in our last fiscal year. We are also one of the best-performing. Few top marketers who would resist the opportunity to work on brands such as Ballantine’s, Courvoisier, Beefeater, Canadian Club, and Harvey’s. In an environment in which the number of top marketing people looking for new challenges has never been higher, no-one will give credence to your belief that there is any difficulty in securing vice president/brand directors for Beefeater and Courvoisier.

The problem is not the lack of candidates. It is solely that the process has to ensure that those who are appointed – from within or without – are team players who can best fulfil the specific roles and meld in with the appointments already made. In the meantime, the brands concerned are well-served by the experienced marketing directors in place.

Since the announcement of the restructuring, we have filled 22 of the 24 senior appointments within the two international brand groups in Los Angeles and Bristol respectively. Many of these appointments have come from the pool of international talent that was already available within our organisation. Those who have joined us from outside have come from other blue-chip companies including those such as general foods in the fmpg area.

Finally, the comments about the company lacking direction stray so far into the realm of fantasy they are unworthy of a detailed response. However, if there is no direction, who initiated the recent restructuring? By so doing, Allied Domecq’s new leadership has demonstrated both initiative and forward-thinking, especially in the creation of two international brand groups that resolved the problems of regional versus brand conflict that still plague some of our competitors.

Henry J Pomeroy

Director of corporate communications

Allied Domecq

Bristol

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