UDV merger with Guinness threatens 3,000 job losses

Diageo’s merger of its United Distillers & Vintners (UDV) spirits and Guinness divisions could claim up to 100 marketing jobs worldwide.

Diageo’s merger of its United Distillers & Vintners (UDV) spirits and Guinness divisions could claim up to 100 marketing jobs worldwide.

Some estimates have put job losses across the company as high as 3,000 worldwide. A spokesman tried to play down the effect of the merger on marketing by saying that most of the job losses will come in finance and other “back office” departments.

“We are talking about tens of marketing job losses rather than 100s on a worldwide basis. There is not much overlap between Guinness and UDV in most markets,” he says.

However, he does not rule out a series of top-level departures as the new structure takes shape.

Rob Malcolm, who joined UDV from Procter & Gamble last year, was this week confirmed as global marketing chief, as first reported in Marketing Week (MW July 20). As president of global marketing, sales and innovation, he will be Diageo’s first board-level marketing specialist. Malcolm was selected in favour of Guinness global marketing chief Nick Fell.

UDV Guinness’ new global management team is in the process of selecting the next tier of management, a 10- to 15-strong leadership group. Individual jobs will not be advertised to minimise disruption.

Guinness UK marketing director Gary Haigh is perceived as favourite to land the top UK marketing role, ahead of UDV UK marketing director Syl Saller, according to insiders. The new structure is expected to be finalised by the middle of November.

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