Senior UK marketers lose out in Danone reshuffle

News exclusives

Two senior executives at Danone UK have been removed from their posts after a head office reshuffle of the management team.

Guy Pelabon, managing director for Danone Waters UK, which includes the Evian brand, and Marc Gosselin, managing director of Danone Dairy UK, have been replaced by people from the Danone Groupe. Pelabon’s role is now handled by Nick Kryzaniak and Gosselin’s dairy food brief has been taken over by Marnix Eikenboom.

It is unclear what Kryzaniak or Eikenboom’s previous roles were.

A Danone spokeswoman says that Pelabon and Gosselin have been moved to different roles but declined to confirm what their new jobs will be.

She adds: “As an international company it is common practice for Group Danone to move its executives within the group.”

The company claims it is “pure coincidence” the moves occurred at the same time.

The transfers come as the media review for the waters division is ongoing. It is understood that it is currently down to a shortlist of two agencies and that a decision is imminent.

Last December, the French dairy products and water manufacturer moved its pan-European advertising business for the Volvic brand – worth £25m – from WCRS to Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R Europe following a four-way pitch (MW December 8).

This year, Danone increased its waters marketing spend by more than 40% to combat increasing competition from rivals.

Nestlé relaunched its Vittel and Buxton brands during the summer and launched water brand Aquarel.

Britvic relaunched Pennine Spring and Drench, a bottled water aimed at youngsters (MW September 29, 2005).

Separately, Danone has chosen Havas-owned MPG to handle its North American $75m (£40.2m) media planning. MPG won the business following a pitch against incumbent Mediacom, Carat and OMD.

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