GlaxoSmithKline has appointed a new sales director and vice-president Nutritional Healthcare UK to head up the sales operation for its portfolio of drinks brands.

Andrew Cowan has been promoted from trading director for Out of Home and Wholesale where he led GlaxoSmithKline's Out of Home expansion of its drink brands: Lucozade Energy, Lucozade Sport, Ribena and Horlicks.

In his new role Cowan will report directly to general manager, Graham Neale. In addition to the core sales team of over 300 people, Cowan has recently created new divisions covering Sales Strategy & Category Planning and Customer Activation which he will also oversee.

In a statement, Graham Neale, general manager, Nutritional Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline said: "GSK is an ambitious organisation which has big plans in place for 2005 and beyond. Andrew has all the experience, energy and enthusiasm needed to drive forward the continued success of our business."

Andrew Cowan said: "The challenge of developing and harnessing sales strategies for some of the UK's most loved and trusted brands is one I relish. In this increasingly competitive trading environment a broad base of knowledge and understanding of both the drinks business and our customers is essential. I have a first class team helping to deliver on this challenge who constantly bring new and innovative solutions to the needs of our customers."

Cowan joined GlaxoSmithKline from Crookes Healthcare in 2000 where he was national accounts controller.