Diageo appoints Burns global purchasing head

6 August 2003
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07 August 2003 | Geraint John

Drinks giant Diageo has appointed Allan Burns to lead its global procurement function almost a year after the departure of the previous incumbent.

Burns will continue with his existing role as supply director of the company's Scotland and Amsterdam operations, based in Edinburgh, as well as overseeing the "indirect" and "demand" procurement teams at its London head office.

Ron Jarman, global procurement director, indirect, and Alison Littley, global demand and marketing procurement director, will now report to Burns, who in turn will report to Diageo's chief financial officer, Nick Rose.

The move comes as part of a major reorganisation of the function that sees a number of role changes and 10-20 per cent of staff being made redundant.

In an internal statement, Diageo said Burns's appointment would lead to "significant efficiency and capability gains through setting consistent global standards and allows us to develop talent across the function".

Burns could not be reached for comment. But one insider told SM he had "a high reputation for his leadership skills and as a business manager", although he was not a procurement professional.

The appointment was welcome, they said, because the function had suffered from a lack of representation at senior level since Bob Kickham's departure last year. However, they added that the timing surprised people - in March, Diageo halted the appointment of an external candidate and said it would continue without an overall head.


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