John Harben, director of internal communications at United
Distillers and Vintners, the drinks arm of Diageo, is to return to
Smythe Dorward Lambert (SDL), the agency he left in 1992.
Although employed by UDV, Harben has been working across Diageo to
co-ordinate the vast internal communications task of informing 85,000
employees of the implications of the merger between GrandMet and
Guinness. He leaves next month once this process has finished.
Harben returns to communications specialist SDLas a client director.
’It’s time to move on and the consultancy environment is the only one
which can offer as much excitement as handling such a large merger,’ he
Harben joined GrandMet’s IDV division in 1996 as its first director of
internal communications from European information firm Sema Group and
remained in an internal communications capacity following the merger
Other GrandMet communications staff who have left Diageo in recent
months include Neil Garnett, formerly group PR director at GrandMet, who
joined Ludgate Communications earlier this month and Stephen Whitehead,
former director of external affairs at GrandMet who joined Eli Lilly as
its director of public affairs in January.