Müller HQ takes control of headless UK division

Müller Dairy is thought to have scrapped its top management role in the UK, following the departure of chief executive Andrew Harrison (pictured) earlier this summer.

The UK’s leading dairy brand is now being controlled from its German head office, with the Müller family having ultimate control over UK operations. It is understood to be the first time that control has rested directly with head office since Müller was launched in the UK in 1986.

The company has now been restructured under three directors, including finance director Sian Land and sales director David Potts. They will report directly to German management.

It is not clear what the changes will mean for the UK marketing department, or for marketing director Chris McDonough, brought in by Harrison a year ago (MW November 25, 2004). Both Harrison and his predecessor, Ken Wood, had strong marketing backgrounds and the decision to axe the role suggests that marketing may also be controlled by head office from now on.

One industry insider suggests this could mean the company’s marketing strategy will become more promotion-oriented. Earlier this year, Müller slashed prices of core ranges in an effort to stem declining sales and marketing share (MW February 17).

One industry insider says that the decision has been taken not to replace Harrison, who had been in the role for just over a year, because he did not see “eye to eye” with the German management.

It is not clear whether oversight of UK management by Germany is a long-term strategy. Müller failed to return calls as Marketing Week went to press.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here