Diageo GB chief exits in restructure

Diageo’s British chief, Simon Litherland, is to leave the drinks maker as the company continues the overhaul of its European management structure.

/q/r/v/Diageo.jpg

The Guinness and Smirnoff owner is scrapping Litherland’s GB managing director role – he previously oversaw all business operations, including sales and marketing, in Great Britain and Ireland – and replacing it with a country director.

Irish commercial director Andrew Cowan will fill the newly created role. Responsibilities include commercial oversight of Diageo’s beer and spirits brands, public and corporate affairs.

The change follows Diageo’s switch to a category-led approach in Western Europe, a move which recently saw the company announce that all territory marketing director roles will be scrapped.

The producer is looking to shift resources to faster growing developing countries, reducing dependence on sluggish markets in Europe and the US. The company expects emerging markets to contribute half of global revenue by 2016.

Other management changes include the appointment of Irish MD John Kennedy as chief operating officer for Western Europe. Kennedy will be charged with the “creation of a distinctive performance and customer orientated culture”.

Northern European managing director and former GB managing director, Benet Slay, is also to leave.

It is not known if Litherland or Slay have jobs to go to. A Diageo spokesman confirmed Litherland’s departure was because of changes to its European operating model, adding that he was an “experienced and respected leader”.

Meanwhile, rival Pernod Ricard has named South African chief David de Mardt as its new UK managing director. The move follows Jean-Manuel Spriet move to head up the Absolut owner’s Korean business.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

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

THE BEST CONTENT

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.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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