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Diageo changes global marketing approach

Diageo has announced changes to its global marketing department following a review of its structure. The changes will see the global marketing function move towards a category led approach, reflecting the increased focus on category management within Diageo. As part of this two new category head roles have been created – global category director – vodka, gin and rums and global category director – whisk(e)y.

David Gates, currently global brand director for Johnnie Walker will become the new global category director – whisk(e)y, effective 1 July 2010.  Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) marketing and innovation director Edward Pilkington becomes the new global category director – vodka, gin and rums, effective 1 August 2010.  There will be no change to the Guinness and Baileys global brand teams.

Diageo’s Reserve brand group, managed by Rodolphe Paoli, will now also report directly into Andy Fennell, chief marketing officer for Diageo.

The new category director roles will be accountable for conceiving a total category strategy and delivering that strategy across Diageo’s portfolio.

Andy Fennell said: “This move towards a category approach in marketing will enable Diageo to move more quickly to access faster growth, reaching all the relevant price points and motivations and adopting a simpler approach.  We believe this is the right move to evolve the business to meet the demands of the ever changing environment and deliver our growth targets.”

The restructure will also see current global category director whisk(e)y, gins and Reserve Brands, Alberto Gavazzi, become general manager, north and south LAC business clusters, within the Latin America and Caribbean region of Diageo International. (Diageo North LAC comprises the Caribbean, Jamaica and Central America, Free Trade Zones and duty free border stores in the Americas; South LAC comprises the Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador markets).

The replacement for the Johnnie Walker global brand director and marketing and innovation director for Latin America will be announced once they have been appointed.  

About David Gates

David has been with Diageo for nearly 20 years, having joined the business with United Distillers.  He has spent much of his time working with Diageo’s Scotch portfolio on roles in Brazil, Japan, Singapore and most recently Asia Pacific, before re-joining the Amsterdam based Johnnie Walker global brand team in March 2008.  

David is currently global brand director, Johnnie Walker. Since taking up this role, David has sought to reinforce the brands’ quality credentials and heritage with a renewed focus on our education (through mentoring) and the creation of the award winning film, ‘The Man who Walked the World’ featuring Robert Carlyle.  He has been responsible for step changing Johnnie Walkers’ digital ambition and presence, with the creation of the recent Walk with Giants campaign.

About Edward Pilkington

Edward joined Diageo with United Distillers as a graduate within the UK sales team.  He had a brief departure from the drinks industry in 1993, when he joined L’Oreal for two years as senior brand manager.  He returned to Diageo in 1995 and has held a number of senior marketing and innovation roles including most recently global brand director, Malibu prior to its sale by Diageo and marketing and innovation director, Diageo Australia.

Edward has been in his current Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) role for the last five years.  Amongst other things, he has led the creation, growth and reputation of the marketing and innovation team within the LAC hub, with particular highlights including the growth of Diageo’s core Scotch business, the establishment of Smirnoff as the leading vodka brand in the region and the launch of Ketel One vodka.

1 June 2010 - Felicity Murray