Pernod Ricard CMO Martin Riley to retire amid restructure

Pernod Ricard’s CMO Martin Riley is set to retire at the end of the year, with the drinks maker replacing him with South Africa managing director Conor McQuaid.


McQuaid will take up a role as the group’s marketing vice president from 1 September during a transition period when he will report into brands managing director Thierry Billot. Pernod Ricard says McQuaid will work with Billot on merging Pernod’s marketing and commercial teams as part of its cost-saving drive aimed at improving operational efficiency, dubbed Project Allegro.

McQuaid will also work closely with Riley until he leaves on 1 January 2015, when he will succeed him.

Riley joined Pernod as CMO in 2009 from Chivas Brothers, where he was marketing director. He took the decision to pare back marketing costs last year in an attempt to establish more effective ways of driving sales through a mix of data, branded content, ecommerce and internal expertise.

That decision is reflected in Pernod Ricard’s latest results, which show that global spend on advertising and promotion fell 9 per cent year on year for the 12 months to the end of June to €1.5bn.

Full-year sales were down 7 per cent to €7.9bn, mainly due to “unfavourable” currency fluctuations. European revenues were up 2 per cent while China, its second biggest market, experienced a steep drop in sales, falling 23 per cent.

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