Seagram UK marketing director John Ratcliffe is leaving to become commercial director of its off-licence chain, Oddbins, which the company is believed to be preparing to sell (MW April 12).
It is not clear how Ratcliffe’s position will be filled, but the move is part of a European-wide restructure of Seagram’s marketing, designed to cut costs and improve efficiency.
The overhaul of the company, which markets brands such as Chivas Regal whisky, Martell Cognac and Absolut Vodka, is the culmination of a year-long review.
Seagram is moving all its operations to a new head office in Hammersmith, and will centralise many of the European functions.
The company has already centralised customer service and finance, and will continue the process with other functions. But a spokeswoman says the brand companies will keep their separate marketing departments in different countries.
The new marketing structures for the brands will be announced imminently.
Ratcliffe returns to Oddbins after a year’s secondment at Seagram UK. He replaces Geoff Parmiter who has set up a brand development team for Seagram.
See News Analysis, page 20