Three IDV chiefs to quit Diageo

Three top directors of the former spirits company IDV are leaving their new parent Diageo after losing out in the battle for senior roles with counterparts from merger partner United Distillers.

Tony Froggatt, president of IDV Europe, Ned Sullivan, president of IDV Asia/Pacific, and Susan Murray, president and chief executive officer of Pierre Smirnoff, are to leave.

They competed for jobs in the merged United Distillers & Vintners, the new spirits division that officially came into being on December 17 1997 after the merger of their parent companies Grand Metropolitan and Guinness.

Under the new UDV structure announced last July, Europe will be headed by former UD North America president and chief executive Walter Caldwell with the title regional managing director Europe. The regional managing director of Asia will be Ed Shyurng, previously regional managing director of UD Asia. Smirnoff will be headed by Kim Manley, former marketing director of UD Australia (MW January 15).

All three will report to global commercial and strategy director Alan Cordery.

A Diageo spokesman says: “Murray will be leaving at the end of April. The two men will be leaving later in the year.” It is understood that Froggatt has already secured another job and that Sullivan is returning to Ireland.

But the spokesman denies that United Distillers’ executives have emerged victorious over their IDV counterparts in the fight for senior marketing roles at UDV. He says that of the 16 top-tier marketing jobs at the spirits arm announced last July, eight have gone to former United Distillers executives and eight to former IDV executives.

“United Distillers had successful overseas divisions,” he says. “In 1996, IDV’s profits in Asia were 11m compared with United Distillers’ 184m,” he adds.

Cover Story, page 28

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