SABMiller has appointed a group technical director for the first time.

The newly-created position will be filled by Dr Neil MacGilp, starting from 1 October

Dr MacGilp joins the brewing giant from Procter & Gamble, where he was director of corporate package and device development in Europe. During his 30-year career with the company, he held a number of positions in product and package R&D, as well as device and technology development.

Based in the UK, Dr MacGilp will lead a group-wide technical function with responsibility for developing a product-focused technical strategy, SABMiller said. This will include responsibility for processes that will organise the pipeline of innovation projects for the group. He will lead a team including the heads of brewing, packaging & design technology, capital projects & engineering and manufacturing development.

"Innovation in both product and packaging is much more important to consumers who require increasing diversity, creativity and originality, and therefore is a significant focus of our business into the future," said SAB Ltd managing director - and Dr MacGilp's new boss - Tony van Kralingen.

Dr MacGilp added: "Working for one of the world's largest brewers will be a significant challenge, but will allow me to use my experience in packaging, design and innovation to its fullest extent."