Heinz’s top marketer for baby food Steve Turner is leaving the company in February. It is not known if he has a job to go to.
Turner is the second category commercial director of four to step down following the arrival of Suzanne Douglas from Heinz Australia as chief marketing director. Last week, chief marketer for sauces Clodagh Ward left the company abruptly (MW last week). Neither post has yet been filled.
In the interim period, an unnamed category marketer in the team is expected to report to Douglas. Ben Pearman, who handles beans and pasta meals, and Gary Power, who oversees the soups category, are understood to be unaffected by the departures.
Turner’s departure comes ahead of a decision on the company’s £8m advertising account. Heinz was initially expected to consolidate its business into one of its roster agencies – Beattie McGuinness Bungay, WCRS or Leo Burnett. But Douglas’ arrival saw the pitch extended to non-roster agencies (MW August 10). WCRS and Leo Burnett have since been knocked out of the pitch (MW September 7).
Turner has been at the food company for more than 13 years. In 2002, he was handed the then-new position of general manager for frozen and chilled foods with responsibility for marketing (MW October 24, 2002).
Prior to that he was UK general manager for ketchup, condiments and sauces, where he was responsible for heading the launch of Eazy Squirt kids sauces in 2002 and Walkers Heinz Tomato Ketchup flavoured crisps in 2001. He has also held a number of strategy development roles, and worked in manufacturing and product development.