UDV starts search for new blood

UDV, the merged spirits business of IDV and United Distillers, has started an external search for senior marketing staff only six weeks before it officially opens for business on July 1.

The positions are the last outstanding marketing posts at UDV, which this week has confirmed a further round of new appointments to its marketing department, under global director Alan Cordery. These supplement the roles revealed previously in Marketing Week (MW January 15 and March 19).

The newly appointed directors include marketing director of Sheridan’s and Godet, Beatrice Blake; consumer planning director for Bailey’s, Nina Davidson; Smirnoff innovation director Neil Woodcock; Malibu and Cinzano marketing director Richard Ambler; ready-to-drink portfolio director Denis Brown and brand development director for Asia, Chris Armes. The company says it is considering internal candidates for the remaining nine top positions, including the marketing directors for Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff in Asia, and a new brand development director. “We decided to see what is out there and compare it with people who have applied,” says a spokesman.

But the spokesman adds that UDV is planning to set up a new product development division, with a 58-strong team led by Steve Wilson with three regional directors.

“This is the greatest increase of people of any UDV department,” says the spokesman. “It shows how much store we are setting for new brands. We are out to emulate the success of Bailey’s,” he adds.

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