Diageo appoints new Johnnie Walker boss

08 July, 2010

Diageo has appointed Gavin Pike to the role of global brand director for Johnnie Walker. Pike is currently marketing and innovation director, with Diageo’s venture, Brandhouse Beverages, in South Africa.

The announcement follows a recent change in Diageo’s global marketing department which saw previous Johnnie Walker global brand director David Gates appointed to the role of global category director for whisk(e)y. Pike’s transition will be effective when his replacement is appointed.

Gavin Pike has worked in the drinks industry since 1999 and joined Brandhouse Beverages as innovation manager in 2003.  Pike also led the communications development around the re-introduction of Amstel into South Africa.

David Gates, category director for whisk(e)y, Diageo said: “I am delighted to welcome Gavin to the team and the Johnnie Walker role. Gavin brings a holistic marketing expertise to the brand which is exactly what is needed to drive Johnnie Walker forward on to the next stage of its journey.”

According to Diageo, Johnnie Walker is the world’s most widely distributed scotch whisky brand, available in over 180 countries around the world. In 2009, it became the world’s first premium spirit brand to achieve over £1 billion net sales and has subsequently seen continued growth. In Diageo’s half year results announced in February 2010, Johnnie Walker achieved volume growth of 3% driven by economic improvement in fast growing Latin American and Asian markets. Last year, the brand introduced new variants Johnnie Walker Double Black and The John Walker.

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