Drinks giant Diageo has created the role of chief digital officer and handed the post to former Vizeum, MindShare and Rapp chief Ben Sutherland with a brief to help shape the digital future for the global business.
The new role covers technology, global media partners, digital marketing and digital talent and will see Sutherland help to guide strategic investment for the company, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Baileys, Smirnoff, Guinness, Bell’s and Captain Morgan.
Diageo spends over a £1.6bn a year on marketing, although chief executive Ivan Menzes recently said: “It is not about doing ‘digital marketing’, it is about marketing effectively in a digital world.”
In July, Diageo credited its improved performance – which saw net sales rise by 4% over the past 12 months – to its marketing strategy.
Sutherland (pictured) started his career at MindShare in 1998, before spending over six years at Tri-Direct and nearly five at Rapp. He then worked jointly at Vizeum and iProspect from May 2013, before taking up the role of chief performance officer at iProspect in May 2o14, from where he takes up the Diagoe role.
While at iProspect, he led the agency’s digital product suite across 450 staff in the UK as well as the delivery of all performance products to clients across the Denstsu Aegis Network.
In one recommendation on LinkedIn, Tom Denford, chief strategy officer of ID Comms, said: “Ben is very driven to deliver, very generous with his time and will go out of his way to get things done.”
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