Beverage behemoth Diageo is moving two leaders of its European operations to its North American headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Ed Pilkington, currently the chief marketing officer of Diageo Europe, will serve as chief marketing and innovation officer for Diageo North America. Claudia Schubert, currently general manager for Diageo Continental Europe and Russia, will serve as president, U.S. Spirits & Canada.
“We are delighted to welcome two of Diageo’s most talented and experienced senior leaders to North America,” Diageo North America President Deirdre Mahlan said. “Claudia and Ed have both played critical leadership roles in the recent transformation of our Europe business, and both bring world-class multi-market experience that will help drive their respective functions forward.”
Pilkington takes the helm of marketing and innovation from James Thompson, who has decided to return to the U.K. for personal reasons and will pursue opportunities outside the company. Diageo said that during his tenure Thompson recruited and developed top talent, oversaw an increase in creativity and successfully implemented its refreshed consumer-choice framework. Thompson will remain through July 31.
Pilkington’s 24-year career with the company has included leading its marketing and innovation business in Australia, Latin America and the Caribbean and, prior to his current role, as leader of the company’s global vodka, rum and gin category.
Schubert takes on U.S. Spirits and Canada from Tom Looney, who is retiring after 30 years as of Sept. 30. Schubert has spent time in the U.S. and Canada in a number of senior commercial roles, including President, U.S. Control States & Canada.
Diageo’s brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies; Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas; Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.