Lauridsen replaces O’Keeffe as Guinness MD

Leading brewery brand, Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, has announced the appointment of a new Managing Director in the person of Mr. Soren Lauridsen. Mr. Lauridsen takes over from the current Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. John O’Keeffe who has being promoted as President of Diageo Africa Group.

In a statement released by the com­pany, O’ Keeffe, whose new appointment will take effect from July, will now join the Diageo Executive Committee and is expected to report to Dr. Nick Blazquez, President of Af­rica and Asia.

Furthermore, the company’s statement explained that Mr O’ Keeffe will in his new role with the executive team, bringing along his extensive experience in marketing and general man­agement which has spanned for decades. Apart from his role in the Nigerian subsidiary, Mr O’Keeffe led Diageo’s Global Innovation, Beer and Baileys categories, served as Managing Director for the Russia and Eastern Eu­rope business and undertook senior marketing roles across multiple European markets and Jamaica. The Managing Directors of Diageo’s four Af­rican markets (Nigeria, South Africa, East Africa and Afri­can Regional Markets – rest of Africa), as well the Regional Finance Director, Africa, will report to Mr O’Keeffe.

Since his resumption as Guinness Nigeria’s Managing Director/CEO in November 2014, O’Keeffe’s has been en­gaged primarily with sustain­ing the recovery of the busi­ness, building a fit for purpose commercial organisation and improving employee morale and engagement. “Growing and broadening our innova­tion portfolio has also been a key area of focus for Mr. O’Keeffe. Under his leader­ship, the improvement in the performance of the business has accelerated,” said the company.

O’Keeffe will continue as a non-executive Director of Guinness Nigeria and, as the Diageo executive responsible for Diageo’s African business, will continue to stay involved with the Nigerian business.

Meanwhile, Mr. Soren Lauridsen who has been announced as Mr. O’Keeffe’s successor as Guinness Nigeria MD joins Diageo from Carls­berg and brings with him considerable experience in the beer category and knowledge of emerging markets.

During his 10-year career at Carls­berg, Lauridsen held senior managerial positions including Regional CEO of South Asia, based in Bangkok, and Man­aging Director for Carlsberg India. He was also worked for Carls­berg in Lagos and Poland. Prior his engagement by Carlsberg, he worked as Category Direc­tor for Orkla Foods covering Nordics and Eastern Eu­rope for three years and held several leadership positions in Unilever Foods for 13 years.


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