GLOBAL: Diageo lines up Smirnoff brand director switch

By | 9 September 2013

The new global brand director for Smirnoff will take over the role next month

The new global brand director for Smirnoff will take over the role next month

Diageo has confirmed a change of global brand director for its Smirnoff vodka brand.

The company said earlier today (9 September) that Simon Burch, who assumed the position three years ago, will be replaced by the current marketing & innovation director for Diageo in Australia, Matt Bruhn. Burch is leaving the company “to pursue other opportunities”, Diageo said, without detailing further.

Prior to his role in Australia, Burch was VP of marketing for Diageo Canada, before moving in 2008 to become, senior VP of vodka, rum & Tequila brands at Diageo North America.

Bruhn, who has been with Diageo since 2004, will start in the Smirnoff role on 1 October and will report in to the firm's head of premium core brands, David Gates.

In Diageo's latest fiscal year, the company's vodka stable posted flat sales in volume terms but rose by 5% in value. Smirnoff delivered a 4% rise in net sales in the 12 months to the end of June.

Expert analysis

Global market review of vodka – forecasts to 2015

The global vodka market had been growing strongly between 2004 and 2008, adding about 30m cases. However, the global recession hit the category hard and sales declined sharply in 2009. Preliminary indications are that the market recovered in most markets in 2010, particularly the large Russian market. With over 40 data tables providing total consumption volume for all major markets and brands, this latest edition of our popular global market review of vodka provides an excellent overview of the historic, present and future market for the sector.

Sectors: HR – personnel, Spirits

Companies: Diageo, Smirnoff

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