The two appointments are part of Diageos new Western Europe structure

The two appointments are part of Diageo's new Western Europe structure

Diageo has made two appointments as part of its new Western Europe structure, including a switch of leadership in the UK.

Andrew Cowan has been appointed country director of Diageo GB, while David Smith will take up the role of country director of Diageo Ireland, the drinks giant confirmed late last week.

Cowan, who is currently commercial director, Ireland, joined Diageo in 2007 from GlaxoSmithKline where he was sales director and VP Nutritional Healthcare UK. He replaces Simon Litherland, who assumed the role back in 2009, and will take up the post from 1 September. Cowan will be responsible for leading the firm's GB spirits and beer business, as well as Diageo GB's external agenda with government, media, trade and consumer stakeholders.

When contacted by just-drinks a spokesperson for Diageo GB was unable to give further details on where Litherland is moving to, although just-drinks understands that he is leaving the company. “Simon Litherland ... is a very experienced and respected leader in Diageo, so it is with regret that, as a result of the European operating model changes, he will be leaving us,” the spokesperson said

Meanwhile, Smith, currently sales director for Diageo GB, will be responsible for leading the Ireland spirits and beer business, and will report to Diageo's Western Europe COO, John Kennedy, also with effect from 1 September.

Prior to his current role, Smith was Diageo GB's field sales director and marketing director for Guinness in GB. He also spent six years at Cadbury in senior marketing roles.

In May, Diageo said it was reviewing its European operations, amid reports that the drinks giant might seek to cut jobs in light of tough economic conditions in the region.