Axe hangs over Ralston Purina chief after merger with Friskies petfood

The marketing director of what was Ralston Purina Northern Europe has found her job under threat, following the merger of her company with Nestlé-owned Friskies.

A spokeswoman claims it is unlikely that Rebecca Barnett will be transferring to the newly merged company Nestlé Purina Pet Care, and that she is in negotiations over a redundancy settlement.

The company is in negotiations with Ralston marketing manager Michael Elkington and he is expected to accept an offer to stay on.

Marketing controller Sidonie Kingsmill – a former Friskies marketer – and Angus Shield – from Ralston – will jointly run the UK marketing department.

Last week former commercial director of Friskies, Phil Humphreys, was appointed to regional marketing director for northern Europe. Humphreys will report to Paul Butler, who was the managing director of Friskies and is now regional director of northern Europe, and Paul Grimwood – former managing director of Ralston who retains the same position in the merged company.

Agencies across the merged business are still waiting to find out how the move will affect them. Friskies brands use BMP DDB, while Ralston brands used Burkitt DDB.

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