GlaxoSmithKline marketing chief departs after less than six months

Julie Leivers, the GlaxoSmithKline marketer in charge of the Lucozade, Horlicks and Ribena brands, is quitting the job after less than six months.

Leivers, who joined GSK as vice-president of marketing and innovation from her role as marketing chief of McCain Foods, does not have a job to go to. She is understood to be taking the summer off while she considers her future career. Insiders suggest one reason for her departure was that she became frustrated with the lack of control the job gave her at GSK.

GSK has appointed Chris Harley-Martin, vice-president of strategy and business development, to take Leivers’ position. He oversees new product development in his existing role and will take these responsibilities with him as vice-president of marketing and innovation.

Leivers started in the newly created position at GlaxoSmithKline Nutritional Healthcare in November last year (MW October 2, 2003).

Leivers was at McCain Foods for seven years and is credited with extending the company’s offerings beyond oven-ready chips and repositioning the brand. She is also a former Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Foods marketer.

GSK is reformulating Ribena to make it less sugary in response to consumer trends, but it will not change the taste. The brand will be relaunched in September.

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