Diageo's top Western Europe marketer Matthew Barwell to depart

Matthew Barwell, the marketing and innovation director for Diageo's Western Europe division, will leave the company at the end of September.

Barwell is leaving in order to pursue a new challenge after 15 years with Diageo and his departure will come two years after a company-wide restructure.

He is leaving the company without a job to go to, with no new suitable UK-based opportunities at Diageo currently available. He is opting to stay in the UK for family reasons.

Barwell reported into chief marketing officer Andy Fennell and was responsible for brands including Guinness, Smirnoff and Pimm's.

Fennell said Barwell will be missed and credited him for playing a key part in Diageo’s success "for the past 15 years in both developed and developing markets".

Diageo will look both internally and externally for a replacement for Barwell.

A restructure at Diageo in September 2011 saw Barwell become consumer marketing and innovation director for the newly created Western Europe division, having previously been marketing and innovation director for Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey.

Diageo made the changes as an attempt to shift resources away from the low-growth region of Europe to faster-growing markets of Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The restructure was also designed to create £80m of efficiencies by the end of the 2013 fiscal year, but in a 2011 interview with Marketing Barwell played down the changes by saying the primary objective "was never about cost".

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