Diageo Chairman appointed as Global Category Director for Beer

Current Chairman of Diageo Ireland and Global Brand Director for Guinness Brian Duffy has been appointed to the newly-created role of Global Category Director for Beer at Diageo.

The appointment follows a change in Diageo’s departmental structure in marketing which began in June this year and which saw Diageo’s global marketing function identify a new source of growth by viewing its business through a ‘category lens’ rather than a ‘brand lens’.

This resulted in the appointments at the time of David Gates as Global Category Director for Whisk(e)y and Ed Pilkington as Global Category Director for Vodka, Gin and Rum.

Beer, the second largest category after Whisk(e)y within Diageo, is led by global beer brand Guinness and supported by a diverse portfolio of local brands. Earlier this year Diageo opened a new brewery in South Africa with Heineken and more recently East African Breweries Limited (EABL), a subsidiary of Diageo, completed the acquisition of Serengeti Breweries in Tanzania.

Chief Marketing Officer Andy Fennell said, “We believe viewing our business through a category lens is the right way to source growth for Diageo and Brian brings to this new role a wealth of beer, marketing and commercial knowledge and know-how. In this new category approach, we believe we can target significant opportunity for our beer business and allow us to reach our targets for our beer portfolio”.

Brian Duffy has been with Diageo for 29 years and has led the Guinness brand to steady, year-on-year growth since 2004 through particularly challenging times for the beer industry. In his new role, he will be responsible for conceiving the total category strategy and for identifying new growth opportunities within it.

Brian’s previous roles in Diageo included time in Jamaica as President of Desnoes and Geddes Limited (Red Stripe) Jamaica. In 1999 he was appointed Managing Director of the Guinness Ireland Group, becoming Managing Director of Diageo Ireland when Diageo was formed through the Guinness and Grand Metropolitan merger.  In 2004 he moved across to marketing to take the role of Guinness Global Brand Director and continued to support the Irish business in the newly-created role of Chairman of Diageo Ireland.  

Brian will maintain his responsibilities as Chairman of Diageo Ireland and will continue to be based in Dublin. Diageo will also be appointing a Guinness Global Brand Director who’ll report to Brian which will be the subject of a future announcement.
A new TV ad for Guinness – ‘Dark life’ – was launched in Irish cinemas on December 17th and had it’s first TV airing on New Year’s Eve.

Directed by French director Frederic Planchon, the new execution will launch in the UK next March and a “digital platform” will support both campaigns in Ireland and the UK.

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