Diageo Promotes Innovation Director To Chief Marketing Officer

Syl Saller Replaces Andy Fennell Who Will Lead Company's Africa Efforts

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Diageo, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, J&B, Smirnoff, Tanqueray and Guinness, has appointed Syl Saller as its new chief marketing officer, replacing Andy Fennell, who has held the role since October 2008.

Syl Saller, new CMO of Diageo
Syl Saller, new CMO of Diageo Credit: Diageo

Ms. Saller becomes CMO after eight years as global innovation director at the London-based drinks giant, where her contributions include three premium drinks: Johnnie Walker Double Black, Singleton malt whisky and Snapp, an apple drink aimed at women, which is Diageo's most successful new brand launch. She was previously marketing director for Diageo GB, and joined the company in 1999 from Allied Domecq Retail, where she was marketing development director.

Ivan Menezes, chief operating officer of Diageo, said in a statement, "Syl brings a great breadth of marketing and general management experience to her new position. In particular, her global track record on innovation performance over the past nine years has been outstanding."

Mr. Fennell becomes president and chief operating officer, Africa -- a new position that has been created to help drive Diageo's growth in the region -- and remains on the executive board. He was promoted to the CMO role from European marketing director five years ago, and previously ran the Smirnoff vodka and Diageo rum portfolio globally. He joined Guinness as marketing controller in 1997, and is famously associated with the "Good things come to those who wait" campaign, including the "Surfer" spot that won a grand prix at Cannes.

Mr. Menezes said, "Andy has made a huge contribution as CMO. In his new role Andy will work to further strengthen our leading position in Africa, a region with enormous potential."

As global innovation director, Ms. Saller was responsible for all new product development, launch programs and research and development worldwide, as well as heading up design and global licensing. She started her career in brand management at Gillette, where she held both U.S. and global roles. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School and a non-executive director of Domino's Pizza.

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