GMG Brands lines up public relations team

GrandMet and Guinness have announced the next tier of appointments for their proposed merger, including the communications team which will report to group corporate affairs director, Peter Lipscomb.

GrandMet and Guinness have announced the next tier of appointments

for their proposed merger, including the communications team which will

report to group corporate affairs director, Peter Lipscomb.



Guinness public affairs manager Lynn Shepherd will become group

corporate communications director. The group government and industry

affairs director post goes to Mark Leverton, director of alcohol and

social policy.



GrandMet’s group community relations director, Geoffrey Bush, will take

on the same role in the merged company.



The information centre director job goes to Adrian Sauter and social and

alcohol policy to Stephen Whitehead. The group security director role,

which deals with trademark and counterfeiting issues, goes to Laurie

Sherwood.



All six new directors will report to Lipscomb.



The changes see the loss of between 15 and 30 jobs, including Guinness’

public affairs director Chris Davidson, GrandMet’s PR director Neil

Garnett and internal communications director John Harben.



’We are designing a new organisational structure,’ said John McGrath,

who will become group chief executive.



The new appointments will come into effect when the merger is complete,

which is predicted to be early in 1998.



Lipscomb’s appointment was announced last month and saw his opposite

number at GrandMet, Charles Anson lose out. ’In a merger when you fuse

two headquarters there can’t be room for all the people in the

companies,’ Anson said.



A total of 32 senior executive appointments were announced by GMG

Brands, indicating Guinness and GrandMet’s confidence that the merger

will get the go-ahead by competition authorities.



The European Commission is reviewing the proposed merger. It has the

power to block deals which create or strengthen dominant positions in

the EU whether the firms involved are European or not.



The next round of appointments and job losses for GMG is likely to be

announced in late autumn. Total job losses, if the merger takes place,

are expected to be around 2,000 from a combined workforce of 85,000.



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