Axe hangs over HP Foods team after Heinz takeover

It is understood that Heinz has started a consultation with the team, which is thought to include up to six members of staff, about their future with the company. No staff are believed to have left so far.

Heinz is thought to have started a consultation before the &£470m acquisition was referred to the Competition Commission late last year.

As a result of the investigation, Heinz has been running HP as a separate division and had to retain the marketing team.

One insider says that Heinz has not made clear to the team what its plans are and suggests that Heinz will retain only one of the two most senior HP Foods marketers – marketing director Graham White or John Garnett, who is marketing sales and product development director.

Heinz says that the integration process has begun and a decision relating to personnel will be made “over the coming weeks and months”. Heinz director of corporate affairs Michael Mullin says: “Heinz has a team working on the integration of the two business. It is envisaged the integration will take several months to complete.”

Heinz carried out a review of its advertising and marketing last year. Following the acquisition early last summer, it scrapped its &£25m advertising budget (MW July 21, 2005), but now appears to be reinstating limited advertising. It also restructured its marketing team to create a marketing council, headed by UK managing director Jane Miller. Heinz has retained its agencies Leo Burnett, WCRS and Vizeum, which is now handling HP’s &£7.5m media planning and buying account.

It is not clear what the changes will mean for HP’s advertising agency, Beattie McGuinness Bungay.

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

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