Walkers Snack Foods UK vice-president of marketing Martin Glenn has made the leap to leading the company as president and chief executive officer.
Glenn, who takes up a position only rarely achieved by marketing directors, replaces Tony Illsley who quit four weeks ago to become chief executive of Telewest, the UK’s second largest cable television operator.
Glenn, who was also commercial director for Frito-Lay Europe, has filled the role of UK vice-president of marketing since Mhairi McEwan left a year ago. Frito-Lay is owned by food and drinks giant PepsiCo.
Glenn cited his two most outstanding achievements as the launch of Doritos and the creation with BMP DDB of the popular advertising campaign starring Gary Lineker. He says: “I will have been with Walkers six years tomorrow. I joined as director of new product deve lopment and launched Doritos in 1994.”
Neil Campbell, the regional director of crisps and promotions who was seconded to Frito-Lay’s headquarters in Richmond, will take over as the permanent vice-president of marketing for the UK.
Lineker was signed up for TV advertising while Glenn was vice-president of marketing between 1994 and 1996. He took on the European role of commercial director for Frito-Lay in 1997.
Lineker will continue to appear in advertising campaigns for Walkers Crisps, despite press reports suggesting that he will be replaced with Liverpool FC player Michael Owen. “Gary has a commitment for the next couple of years, which wouldn’t preclude us from using other people like Owen at the same time,” adds Glenn.
Walkers is testing a new crisp brand, Max, in Sainsbury’s stores prior to a national launch next year. This is the first major launch since Walkers Lites were introduced (MW October 11 1996).