Diageo rewards UK marketer with global innovation role

Drinks giant Diageo has promoted UK marketing director Syl Saller to the role of global director of its brand innovation group. She will report to president of global marketing, sales and innovation Rob Malcolm.

Global brand director for Smirnoff and rums Andy Fennell has been promoted to take Saller’s place, reporting to Don Goulding, managing director of Diageo Great Britain,.

Saller succeeds Steve Wilson, who will step down from his current role in June to head Diageo’s newly formed luxury brands business, Reserve Brands, which includes Johnnie Walker Gold Label.

Separately, the Baileys global brand team, led by Wendy Darlington, will now report directly to Malcolm instead of to the global innovation director, leaving Saller to focus on leading innovation.

Saller, formerly a UDV UK marketing director, was appointed as the Diageo-owned Guinness UDV marketing director four years ago (MW October 12, 2000). Diageo dropped the Guinness UDV name from its UK subsidiary in July 2002.

As UK marketing director, Saller was responsible for the appointment of roster agency Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO to handle Diageo’s multi-million pound responsible-drinking advertising account (MW July 3, 2003). Diageo became the first UK company to actively pre-empt government proposals for cracking down on alcohol advertising.

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