Diageo said todays move will leverage its North America resources more fully

Diageo said today's move will leverage its North America resources more fully

Diageo is to combine its US and Canadian spirits divisions as part of a North American shake-up at the company.

US spirits president Tom Looney will expand his responsibilities to include Canada, the group said earlier today. Current Diageo Canada head Jakob Ripshtein will continue in his other role as Diageo North America CFO, while Peter Kourtis will continue to lead Canada sales as GM.

Meanwhile, Looney will take over the helm of National Accounts and central commercial support activities from Jeff Ivey, who will retire in June next year.

Deirdre Mahlan, president for Diageo North America, said: "In Canada, the changes we are making to our structure and reporting lines are designed to strengthen this important business leveraging our North America resources more fully."

Mahlan praised Ivey's career, saying he had helped shape the company's commercial execution. "Jeff is known as a thoughtful, strategic leader whose experience has helped him navigate the complexities of our industry in ways that have helped move our business forward, especially with regard to distributor alignment," she said.

Diageo is undergoing a cost-cutting drive as it looks to continue a recent turnaround in fortunes. A media report at the weekend claimed that the company is set to cut just over a quarter of the workforce at its London headquarters although just-drinks understands that the number could be markedly lower.