Razors giant Wilkinson Sword has appointed former McVitie’s marketing chief Colin Hutchison to head its European business.
Hutchison, who left United Biscuits-owned McVitie’s from his role as managing director without a job to go to in September, replaces Lothar Sussenbach as vice-president, Europe, who announced his retirement last November.
Hutchison’s departure from United Biscuits after 25 years coincided with the decision to merge the company’s snacks and biscuits operations. He served the company in a number of functions, including sales director in 1996, before taking over marketing functions at the company as deputy managing director in 2001.
Hutchison, who reports to Wilkinson Sword president and chief executive Joe Lynch, starts at a challenging time for Wilkinson Sword. The company has invested a marketing spend of more than 10m behind the launch of its four-bladed Quattro razor in the UK, but Gillette is still the market leader (MW, May 15, 2003).
Hutchison will be responsible for taking a greater share of sales from Gillette. He will work with agency J Walter Thompson, which created the pan- European ads that supported the Quattro launch last year.
He will also oversee the legal dispute between Wilkinson Sword and Gillette, which has seen Gillette accused of false advertising with the slogan “The best a man can get” as well as breach of patents in the US.