NEWS: Beckett to retire as IDV corporate affairs head

Edwin Beckett, director of corporate affairs at the world’s biggest drinks company, IDV, is to retire next month. He will be replaced by Stephen Whitehead, the company’s director of strategy affairs.

Edwin Beckett, director of corporate affairs at the world’s biggest

drinks company, IDV, is to retire next month. He will be replaced by

Stephen Whitehead, the company’s director of strategy affairs.



Whitehead will take over Beckett’s external affairs remit at the company

which owns the J&B, Smirnoff, Cinzano and Baileys brands, His internal

responsibilities will pass to John Harben, IDV’s first director of

internal communications who joined earlier this year (PR Week, 1 March).



Whitehead, 33, left his job as director of communications at Glaxo

Wellcome to join IDV as director of social aspects in July last year. He

was promoted to director of strategic affairs in May.



As head of external affairs his role will widen from managing public

policy to take on responsibility for issues like trade and tax.



At the same time the company has signed up lobbying firm APCO Europe to

monitor industry issues in Brussels.



APCO won the contract this week after pitching against three other

firms. Its brief is to monitor a number of EU issues likely to affect

the company including proposals on excise duty and the Green Paper on

Commercial Communications. Claire Boussagol, APCO Europe associate

director, will be heading the account team of consultants from APCO

Europe and APCO UK.



‘Given the importance of the issues at EU level, we felt it opportune to

get closer to the action,’ said Whitehead.



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