Pernod Ricard has announced a raft of management changes at its UK division.

The company said today (20 February) that Simon Thomas, previously commercial director at Pernod Ricard UK, will fill the newly-created position of deputy managing director of sales and marketing for spirits. Thomas, who will retain direct responsibility for the 'on- and off-trade spirits' and 'wholesale cash & carry' sales channels, will also be responsible for Pernod's spirits sales and marketing in the country. Having started in the role at the beginning of this month, Thomas will report directly to unit CEO Jean-Manuel Spriet.

Vlastimil Spelda, meanwhile, has been appointed marketing director for spirits and Champagne, effective from 1 March. Spelda, currently Pernod Ricard Holding's marketing category director for whiskies and vodkas, was previously marketing director for Pernod in the Czech Republic, and will report to Thomas in his new post.

Finally, filling the new position of wine director from 1 March is Nick Blair, the current international sales director for Pernod Ricard Pacific. Also reporting into Spriet, Blair takes responsibility for the 'multiple grocer' and 'specialist convenience and on-trade' sales channels for Pernod's wine and Champagne brands. He will also oversee the marketing of the company's portfolio of wine brands.

"Following a highly successful 2007, we have created new roles within our wine and spirits business to build on the strong performance our brands have enjoyed since the acquisition and integration of the Allied Domecq portfolio in July 2005," said Spriet. "I am pleased to announce these three senior appointments today, who will each play an important role in helping us to deliver on this commitment."