Allied Domecq has moved into the next phase of recently unveiled US distribution changes or "Move-to-Market" strategy by announcing several key management appointments to the company's three business units and corporate group.

Tom Wilen, Allied Domecq Spirits North America president said: "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."

In the Southern business unit, president Tex McCarthy announced the appointments of Kevin Cooke, vice president, California / Hawaii division; Gene Richter, vice president, Texas division; Steve Bjeldanes, vice president, Florida division; and Howard Jeffery, vice president, multi state division, which includes Colorado, Louisiana, Arkansas, Arizona, South Carolina, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada and Georgia.

In the Northern business unit, president Keith Bellinger announced the appointment of John Winters, vice president, Illinois division. Bellinger also named Tom Rose, vice president, New York division; and Mark McKethan, vice president, Northeast division, which includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington D.C.

In the control states business unit, president Peter Hickey announced the appointment of Paul Criscuoulo, vice president, Eastern division. Additional appointments within the Control States Business Unit will be announced shortly.

"The creation of the control states business unit is an important element in our overall Country Strategy," said Wilen. "We are bringing top flight industry experience to support this key portion of Allied Domecq's business in the US."

At the corporate level, Wilen named Tom Jensen to the position of vice president, distributor operations. He will report to the yet to be named, executive vice president, commercial director.

Simon Cunningham, executive vice president, marketing for Allied Domecq Spirits, North America announced the appointment of Barbara Jackson to vice president, marketing responsible for the Courvoisier and Kahlua brands. Jackson joins Allied Domecq from Diageo where she was Vice President, consumer marketing strategy.

Rennie Solomito was named the vice president for the Stoli, Malibu and Beefeater brands.

Additionally, Barry Younkie was named group brand director for the Maker's Mark and Canadian Club brands; Craig Johnson was named group marketing director for Advantage and Innovation and Janet Oak was appointed vice president, strategic planning. Lastly, Steve Tramposch was named director, consumer insights.

The "Move-to-Market" plan stems from a five-year country strategy created earlier this year for Allied Domecq's North American spirits business. Scheduled to be fully phased in by January 31, 2003, the plan consists of three components: First, the Equity and ADvantage portfolios will be combined under one management team. Second, the company is creating three decentralized, autonomous Spirits Business Units -- North, South and Control States. Third is the allocation of more of the organisation's 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."