Seagram jobs face axe in global centralisation

Seagram is expected to cut marketing jobs in its drinks division after its third restructure in three years.

Seagram Spirits & Wine Group is centralising many of its functions in New York in an effort to maximise the global development of its core brands.

A new position of chief marketing officer, based in the US, is to be created, which will oversee a global marketing organisation consisting of four new brand groups.

All of Seagram’s scotch whiskies are being consolidated in London under the name of the Chivas Regal Group. This will include the existing Chivas Brothers organisation. Control of the Martell Group is moving from France to London, and will cover products such as Cognac, sparkling wine and Champagne.

A Crown Royal Group in New York will oversee Seagram’s US whiskies. The Captain Morgan Group, also in New York, will look after rum, gin, liqueurs and tequila.

“We are creating global functions. As we move towards that, some positions may go at a regional level,” says a spokeswoman for the Seagram Spirits & Wine Group.

Seagram UK’s marketing team, headed by director Ian Harris, will be unaffected by the changes. But the evolution of the Chivas Regal Group throws into question the position of Kneale Ashwell, president of Chivas Brothers.

Seagram says although his role will no longer exist, Ashwell will remain with the company in a senior position. The spokeswoman refuses to comment on whether he might be a contender for the head of marketing position.

The restructure will require the presidents of each of Seagram’s four business regions – Europe and Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and North America – to switch to New York.

It is understood discussions are underway to determine those who are prepared to relocate.

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