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Pernod Ricard CMO Martin Riley replaced by MD Conor McQuaid as company merges sales and marketing departments

Pernod Ricard has provisionally appointed Conor McQuaid, managing director of South Africa, as vice president of marketing as current chief marketing officer Martin Riley retires from the role.

McQuaid, who will take up the role from 1 September, will report to Thierry Billot, managing director, brands, during the transition period and will work with him on the project of merging the marketing and commercial development teams called project Allegro.

McQuaid will work closely with Riley during the period and take over the role on 1 January 2015, when the company plans to implement the restructure to simply the business and facilitate a rollout of collaborative digital platforms to help it monitor sales and advertising.

It is hoped project Allegro will afford Pernod Ricard with €150m of savings over a three year period, following its recent financial results which saw sales fall 7 per cent to €7.9bn, impacted negatively by China.

As part of the restructure commercial terms will be removed from its brand teams which include Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis and Ballantine's, and redeployed to the marketing teams

The distiller said it will increase advertising and promotion expenditure to € 50m over two years to support priority brands and innovations. It says the investment will come from the savings it reaps via project Allegro.

Pernod Ricard said that around 900 jobs globally will be cut as a result of the project roll-out.

Global spend on advertising and promotion dropped by 9 per cent for the 12 months to the end of June to €1.5bn.

Riley’s retirement at Pernod Ricard will not affect his role as president at World Federation of Advertisers.

CEO Pierre Pringuet also announced his retirement effective 11 February.

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