Quaker Oats UK loses commercial director

Quaker Oats UK commercial director for cereals Jeff Cowell is quitting at the end of the year.

Cowell was appointed two years ago as part of a restructure which made the cereal business into a standalone division and saw its petfood interests hived off.

He has sales and marketing control over brands such as Sugar Puffs and Quaker Oats. He will be replaced by former Quaker equity director Mark Potgieter, who was responsible for branding and new product development.

The UK is a key market for Quaker, accounting for 50 per cent of its European business. Quaker spends over 4m on advertising in the UK through Young & Rubicam.

“When I joined Quaker I was asked what I thought I could achieve within the company,” says Cowell. “There was a possibility of pursuing a career with Quaker in the US but that did not fit in with my plans. Quaker was always a short-to-medium term career move.”

Cowell, who was previously at Yoplait and Heinz, refuses to comment on where he is going. “Jeff is an ambitious individual,” says a Quaker spokeswoman. “This was his decision.”

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