Diageo is to cut 150 jobs in North America as part of a cost savings plan in the region.

Diageo also confirmed today (4 March) that it will integrate its Diageo-Guinness USA business and wine arm Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines into one "USA total beverage alcohol approach".

Around 150 jobs out of a North America workforce of more than 3,500 will be cut in the move, which is effective from mid-April, the UK-based drinks giant said.

Diageo announced last month that it would consider job cuts across the business as part of a restructuring plan, designed to save GBP100m (US$142m) annually from the start of the group's fiscal 2010, which begins in July this year.

It said today that its re-jig in North America "will reduce the company's cost base and allow it to be more agile".

Several management changes will take place as part of the move.

Ray Chadwick, president of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, will leave his position but will remain a non-executive board member. Chadwick is set to become chairman of the California Wine Institute in June.

Jim Young, president of Diageo-Guinness USA, is also expected to leave his post. Diageo said it would announce his "next steps" soon.

Sandra LeDrew and Pete Carr will be the presidents of sales at the wine and Guinness divisions respectively, with both reporting directly to Diageo USA president Larry Schwartz. The pair will also join Diageo North America's executive team.

Diageo expects to report a GBP200m charge in its 2008/09 fiscal year as a result of its global restructuring scheme.

A group spokesperson told just-drinks that the plan was a "prudent" measure, rather than a necessary response to the global economic downturn. Diageo reported an 18% rise in net sales and profit in its first half to the end of December.