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Diageo Names Saller CMO, As Fennell Becomes President And COO, Africa

June 6, 2013

Diageo has named Syl Saller as its global chief marketing officer, replacing Andy Fennell, who will become the company’s president and COO, Africa, reporting to Nick Blazquez, president Africa, Eastern Europe and Turkey. Both changes are effective July 1, the same date that current Diageo COO Ivan Menezes will take over the CEO role from departing current chief executive Paul Walsh.

Saller, who will join Diageo’s executive committee in her new post, is currently the drinks giant’s global innovation director. In announcing Saller’s new role, Menezes hailed her efforts in innovation, noting, “In particular, her global track record on innovation performance over the past nine years has been outstanding.” Speaking at the Impact Seminar in March, Saller espoused a “gut-level” marketing approach, pointing to experiential initiatives like Diageo’s Johnnie Walker House in Shanghai as instrumental to appealing to consumers through emotion rather than logic.

Fennell, who has served as CMO for four and a half years, is tasked with assisting Blazquez in “further strengthening Diageo’s leading position in Africa, a region with enormous potential,” according to Menezes.

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