Diageo and BFFF make key appointments

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Charles Ireland (left) and Andrew Cowan (centre) of Diageo and John Hyman (right) of the BFFF
Charles Ireland (left) and Andrew Cowan (centre) of Diageo and John Hyman (right) of the BFFF
Diageo and the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) have both announced key appointments this week.

Drinks giant Diageo has appointed Charles Ireland as head of its British and French operations, while the BFFF revealed John Hyman will take over as chief executive by the end of this year.

Ireland will leave his role as md for Diageo’s East African Breweries (EAB) to become general manager GB, Ireland and France.

GB country director Andrew Cowan will fill Ireland’s current position. Both executives will start in their new roles on July 1.

President of Diageo Europe, Russia and Turkey John Kennedy praised both bosses’ contribution to the growth of their respective business areas.

‘Fastest-growing market’

“Charles has transformed EAB to be one of the best-performing markets in Diageo and the fastest-growing market for Guinness,” ​said Kennedy.

“Under Andrew’s leadership, Diageo GB has seen consistent top line growth, profit growth and spirits market share growth.”

Diageo owns well-known alcohol brands Guinness, Smirnoff and Baileys. It produces drinking alcohol at more than 200 sites worldwide.

Meanwhile, BFFF chief executive Brian Young will retire after 10 years in the role, to be replaced by Hyman.

Hyman – previously UK group commercial director at Adelie Foods – will begin his appointment on August 17 and will work alongside Young until he retires near the end of this year.

“I’m delighted to be joining such a dynamic and successful federation,”​ said Hyman. “In the last decade, Brian and the BFFF team have developed the federation to become one of the leading trade associations in the food industry.

“I’m looking forward to building on that success and representing our members as effectively as possible.”

Hyman has also held senior roles at First Drinks, Dairy Crest, Heinz and Arla.

Brian Young and John Hyman
Brian Young (left) will be succeeded by John Hyman (right) as chief executive of the BFFF

‘The next level’

Young welcomed the appointment. He said: “I’m confident that in John, the BFFF board has found a new chief executive with the skills and personality to successfully take the federation to the next level.”

The search for a new chief executive was announced last November by BFFF president, Peter Allan, at the federation’s annual lunch.

The BFFF is the UK’s frozen food trade association, with over 300 members comprising producers, wholesalers, importers, exporters, brokers, retailers and related associate businesses. 

New bosses – at a glance

Diageo:Charles Ireland

  • General manager GB, Ireland and France
  • Previously md of East African Breweries
  • Joined Diageo in 1997
  • Worked at Nestlé prior to Diageo

Diageo:Andrew Cowan

  • Md of East African Breweries
  • Previously GB country director
  • Joined Diageo in 2008
  • UK vice president of GSK prior to Diageo

BFFF:John Hyman

  • Chief executive
  • Starts August 17
  • Previously UK group commercial director at Adelie Foods
  • Senior roles at First Drinks, Dairy Crest and Arla

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