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Diageo is set to cut jobs as part of a plan to slim down its US wine business, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines.

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Diageo confirmed yesterday (12 May) that it will make "fundamental changes" to the Diageo Chateau & Estate (DC&E) business, which will include the sale of some non-core brands.

"The changes are based on creating an efficient, entrepreneurial wine business, focusing on core strategic brands like Beaulieu Vineyard wines, Sterling Vineyards, Chalone, Acacia, Rosenblum Cellars and Provenance, and ensuring Diageo’s long-term commitment to the wine business," said the firm.

"This will mean that some jobs will be eliminated," it added. The group confirmed to just-drinks that around 90 jobs are likely to be lost, representing 14% of its 650-strong workforce.

Following the changes, Sandra LeDrew will continue in her role as president of sales & marketing for DC&E, reporting directly to Larry Schwartz, president of Diageo USA. She will continue as a member of the Diageo North America executive team.

Diageo said that it remains committed to DC&E over the long-term.

"In addition, DC&E remains committed to the French Agency business and our dedicated Diageo distributor network across the country will continue to handle these wines as we have done with pride and success for many years," said the group.

Late last year, Diageo said that it was exiting the US market for first-growth Bordeaux wines due to falling prices and lower market demand.

Earlier in 2009, Diageo integrated the marketing, finance and supply functions of its DC&E and Guinness US businesses into Diageo North America, with the loss of around 150 jobs.


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