Allied Domecq, the world's second largest spirits group, has announced the latest phase of its new Move to Market business plan with a number of key appointments in North America.
"The 'Move-To-Market' plan was specifically designed to allocate resources closer to the marketplace, increase sales coverage and capitalise on the strength of our leading brands portfolio, including the recently acquired Stolichnaya vodka and Malibu flavoured rum," said Tom V. Wilen, president of Allied Domecq Spirits North America.
"We are very excited about our management team, and the combination of our new structure with some fresh talent will continue to improve Allied Domecq's performance."
Malibu was acquired off arch rival Diageo earlier this year as part of the latter group's purchase of the Seagram drinks empire. The competition authorities in the US obliged the company to sell Malibu because the Seagram deal included the Captain Morgan rum brand - also at one stage sought by Allied Domecq. The US distribution rights to Stolichnaya were granted to AD last year by Cyprus-based SPI, but there is currently a question mark over whether the rights will remain with AD now that the Russian government has rejected SPI's own right to the Stoli brand.
That said, AD is pressing ahead with its Move to Market plan in the US, adding a number of key managers in regional business units throughout the United States. Kevin Cooke joins the California/Hawaii division, Gene Richter the Texas division, Steve Bjeldanes the Florida division and Howard Jeffery, the multi-state division, which includes Colorado, Louisiana, Arkansas, Arizona, South Carolina, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada and Georgia.
In the northern business unit, John Winters has joined the Illinois division, while Tom Rose joins the New York division and Mark McKethan the northeast division, which includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington DC. In addition, Paul Criscuoulo, has joined the control states business unit, which covers the 18 states where alcohol is sold through state-controlled monopolies.
There were also changes at the corporate level, with Tom Jensen named as the new vice president of distributor operations and Barbara Jackson joining the AD marketing team responsible for the Courvoisier and Kahlua brands, having previously been vice president of consumer marketing strategy at Diageo. Rennie Solomito is the new vice president for the Stoli, Malibu and Beefeater brands, while Barry Younkie was named group brand director for the Maker's Mark and Canadian Club brands.
Due to be implemented in full by the end of January next year, the Move to Market involved the creation of the three US spirit divisions, as well as the allocation of more resources closer to the market and an increase in sales coverage.
"These announcements are part of our commitment to simplify and streamline our management structures and to move resources out to the field and closer to our customers," said Wilen. He added: "Allied Domecq's vision is to be the first-choice supplier in the hearts and minds of our customers, consumers and employees. Our new structure will help us achieve this vision."