Heinz salad cream doyenne steps down

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Heinz chief marketer for sauces Clodagh Ward has left the company after more than 14 years. It is not clear whether she has a job to go to.

Ward was category commercial director for sauces and condiments. During her time at the company she oversaw the turnaround of the salad cream brand and launched the "top-down" ketchup bottle. She left at the end of last week.

Her departure comes just four months after the arrival of Suzanne Douglas from Heinz Australia as chief marketing officer. The company says Ward has left to "concentrate on her future career".

Heinz is looking for a replacement, and in the interim the category marketing managers for ketchup, salad cream, HP and Amoy will report to Douglas. It is not thought that Ward’s departure will affect the other category commercial directors – Ben Pearman, who handles beans and pasta meals, Gary Power, who oversees the soups category, and Steve Turner, who handles infant feeding.

Ward’s departure comes ahead of a decision on the company’s £8m advertising review. Heinz is understood to be planning to consolidate its business into one of its roster agencies – Beattie McGuinness Bungay (BMB), WCRS or Leo Burnett – but after Douglas arrived the review was extended to non-roster agencies (MW August 10).

Leo Burnett and WCRS were knocked out of the pitch in September (MW September

7), leaving BMB to pitch against several undisclosed agencies. A result is expected before the end of the month.

Heinz pulled all of its above-the-line advertising last summer after it acquired

HP Foods (MW July 20) and has only invested in limited advertising this year.

In May, Heinz appointed former Procter & Gamble sales director David Woodward as president for UK and Ireland (MW May 11). He replaced Jane Miller, who left the company for personal reasons after a year in the role.

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