General Mills shakes up senior marketing roles

General Mills, the world's fifth-biggest food company, has appointed commercial director Linda Hipkiss to the new role of UK marketing director, as part of a restructure of its sales and marketing function.

Fellow commercial director Mark Lloyd has also moved to a new role, heading General Mills' European food service brands.

As marketing director, Hipkiss will concentrate on retail brands, adding Haagen-Dazs and the Bugles savoury snack brands to her existing responsibility for Green Giant, Old El Paso and Betty Crocker. She will also oversee Haagen-Dazs' cafes, and new product development.

Lloyd will take responsibility for the food services side of these brands as well as Pillsbury/Jus-Rol.

Both Lloyd and Hipkiss will continue to report to managing director James Moseley, based at the company's offices in Uxbridge. Former sales manager Andy Foweather has been promoted to sales director for the retail brands.

Hipkiss said: "The restructure places the emphasis on our brands' performance in particular market sectors."

Before taking on the role as commercial director at General Mills in 2001, Hipkiss was vice-president of marketing at food company Cereal Partners Worldwide based in Morges, Switzerland. General Mills owns half of Cereal Partners in a joint venture with Nestle.

McCann-Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi and TBWA\London share responsibility for the company's brands in the UK, with media consolidated into Universal McCann in December 2002. Recent activity has included a pan-European advertising campaign for Haagen-Dazs, through TBWA\London featuring the strapline 'Let your tongue travel'. General Mills' adspend for the 12 months to November was more than £5m, according to Nielsen Media Research.

General Mills acquired the Pillsbury foods business from Diageo in 2001.

Pillsbury split with Leo Burnett in 2002 over conflict with the agency's Kellogg account.

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