Allied lures Britvic chief for top UK marketing role

Allied Domecq has poached Britvic director of brand marketing Cathryn Sleight to be its UK marketing chief.

She replaces Grahame Cox, who five months ago was promoted to the new role of director of innovation and business development. Since then, the top UK marketing post has been held on an interim basis by Richard Hayes, UK director of development brands.

Allied UK managing director Chris Heath says the drinks company is “exploring a number of development opportunities” for Hayes and hopes to make an announcement soon.

Sleight, who takes up her new role in December, will oversee UK marketing for brands such as Tia Maria, Courvoisier, Teacher’s whisky and Beefeater gin.

She joined Britvic four years ago and in January 1999 was promoted to director of brand marketing with responsibility for the Pepsi, Tango and Robinson’s brands. Prior to joining the soft drinks company, she was general manager, marketing, at McVitie’s.

Sleight says: “Allied has got a great portfolio of brands and a very clear, focused strategy to expand the UK market with a lot of support from Allied plc.”

She will report directly to Heath, who says: “This is yet another demonstration of our ability to attract top marketing talent to Allied in the UK.”

A Britvic spokesman says the company is still considering whether to hire a replacement for Sleight.

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