Carlsberg-Tetley’s new product development (npd) plans have been further hit by the departure of director Tom Wright, the man behind the shelved launch of controversial alcopop Thickhead.
Wright is leaving to become director of sales and marketing for Center Parcs UK, the Scottish & Newcastle-owned chain of holiday complexes. He has been in charge of npd since joining the company two years ago. Before that, he was a senior marketer at Anchor Foods.
Wright says he is leaving because the Center Parcs job is more broad-based and offers him a seat on the board. He insists that C-T’s npd programme will be unaffected by his departure.
He denies that C-T’s decision to delay the launch of Thickhead – until the controversy surrounding its appeal to children dies down – has led to other alcopop launches being delayed (MW October 25).
He says there are no plans to launch more alcopops, and that any development work is being carried out on beer brands.
The news comes as the Office of Fair Trading decides whether to refer Bass’s bid to acquire C-T to the Department of Trade & Industry.
Press reports suggest that the OFT will push for a referral.
Other top C-T staff are expected to leave the company, though some may wait to claim redundancy payments.