UB appoints key chiefs for new category focus

United Biscuits has restructured with a category focus and appointed two new managing directors to take charge of its core biscuits and snacks categories, following its takeover by a Nabisco-led consortium in April.

United Biscuits has restructured with a category focus and appointed two new managing directors to take charge of its core biscuits and snacks categories, following its takeover by a Nabisco-led consortium in April.

Will Carter, currently managing director of KP Snacks, and a former McVitie's marketing chief, becomes managing director for the snacks category. Graham Johns, who joins from Heinz, becomes group managing director of the biscuits category, as well as managing director of UK biscuits.

Carter and Johns will report to Malcolm Ritchie, who was appointed as chief executive of United Biscuits in September. Ritchie, formerly Heinz European president, will now head UB and Naisco's combined European operations.

As a result of the two appointments, Robert Schofield, managing director of United Biscuits UK (McVitie's and KP), will leave at the end of the year.

Ed Jackson, presently managing director of development operations, is also leaving. Pascale Muylaert, marketing director of McVitie's UK, resigned last month.

Carter and Johns will be responsible for appointing marketing teams for each division.

UB's head of corporate communications, Carolyn MacDonald, said it was too early to say what the implications of the shake-up would be for those in senior marketing roles.

Other than Muylaert, the company's marketing functions are headed by Mandy Ferguson, marketing director of KP Snacks, and Anthony Francheterre, marketing director of UB France.

MacDonald said that Ritchie was recognised within Heinz for his work on building a category structure.

'He has reviewed United Biscuits and taken the view that the best way to drive the business forward is by implementing a category structure,' said MacDonald.

The company, which operates in 20 countries and sells in more than 90, previously had a geographic focus.


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