Diageo parachutes in Ireland chief to revive troubled Guinness brand

Diageo has appointed the managing director of its Ireland operations as global brand director for Guinness. Brian Duffy will be responsible for the worldwide growth and development of the hard pressed Guinness brand.

Duffy has also been given the additional role of chairman of Diageo Ireland. He replaces Jon Potter, who has been appointed as the commercial director for Diageo Africa.

The move comes at a time when Guinness is experiencing a sales decline because young people find the drink too heavy. The drinks giant has recently decided to bring back its iconic advertising fronted by Rutger Hauer to promote its Extra Cold brand.

In a separate move, Gary Haigh, Diageo global director of ready-to-drink brands including Smirnoff Ice and Gordon’s Gin, has been appointed managing director of Diageo Benelux. Haigh had previously held the position of Guinness GB marketing director.

Also Diageo North America senior vice-president of Smirnoff and Captain Morgan James Thompson has been appointed president of global and North America marketing for Smirnoff and Captain Morgan. Thompson will have the responsibility for developing the two global “priority” brands worldwide, while continuing to oversee their development in North America.

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