Magazine article Marketing

Bass Brands Chief in Rejig

Magazine article Marketing

Bass Brands Chief in Rejig

Article excerpt

Number one UK brewer Bass is this week without a permanent marketing director at the helm, following the surprise move of incumbent Angus Meldrum to head sales at Bass' Scottish division, Tennent's Caledonian.

His departure from the brands marketing director seat comes as Bass is for the first time fighting to keep hold of its number one position, as rivals Courage Grand-Met and Carlsberg Tetley shrink its previously unbeatable market share lead to almost nothing.

The brands marketing director seat has temporarily been filled by Andrew MacDonald, who previously reported to Meldrum when he was brands director at Tennent's Caledonian.

But MacDonald is an unlikely candidate for the permanent marketing post. "His is just a caretaker role," says a Bass source.

And an urgent hunt for a replacement has already begun. "The process of seeking a permanent replacement is in hand," says a spokesman.

Bass will not give reasons for Meldrum's departure from the top post, whether he was asked to move or if he chose to become managing director of sales at the Scottish subsidiary.

Meldrum and MacDonald were unavailable for comment as Marketing went to press, but speculation provoked by the move has been rife.

Some sources close to Bass predict that commercial director Vincent Kehoe will start to play a more hands-on role in brands marketing, thereby doing away with the brands marketing director title altogether.

Others see Meldrum's sudden departure arising from personal differences with Kehoe, who was his immediate boss, Kehoe's clash with Meldrum's predecessor Philip Sheldon is well documented.

Whatever the reasons, there will now be a period of instability at the top of Bass' marketing team. Some see the shake-up as the first response to a recent report by management consultant McKinsey. Others relate it to sales and yet others to advertising. …

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