Diageo Ireland’s John Kennedy to move to Europe

John Kennedy will be leaving his post as Chief Executive of Diageo Ireland to take up the role of Chief Operating Officer, Diageo Western Europe, this September.

He’ll be responsible for ensuring that conditions and operating practices are in place for each country within Western Europe and will drive the creation of a distinctive performance- and customer-orientated culture to enable Western Europe deliver to its full potential, stated Diageo.

David Smith, Sales Director at Diageo GB for the past five years, will now report to John as Country Director for Diageo Ireland.

David will now be responsible for leading the Ireland spirits and beer business by driving the commercial agenda and encouraging a countrywide  customer-centric focus. He’ll also lead Diageo Ireland’s external agenda with key government, media, trade and consumer stakeholders. As GB Sales Director, David created a winning category strategy and growth drivers which enabled the business to drive share growth across all trade channels, facilitated by a transformation in Diageo GB’s customer marketing, customer collaboration, trade terms and sales capability. Previously he was Diageo GB’s Field Sales Director and was also Marketing Director for Guinness there having spent six years at Cadbury in senior marketing roles.

Meanwhile Diageo Ireland’s Commercial Director Andrew Cowan will take up the role of Country Director at Diageo GB where he’ll fulfill a similar role for GB to that of David Smith here. Andrew joined the company in early 2007 as Commercial Director for Diageo Northern Ireland (NI) and during his time in the role he led the turnaround of a declining NI business, delivering both sales and profit growth. Before moving into the drinks industry, he held a number of senior commercial roles in FMCG companies such as Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline where, as GSK Vice President, he led the company’s sales team. Andrew will report to Andrew Morgan, President of Diageo Europe.

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