By James Atkinson
Diageo has confirmed the departure of a number of staff from its innovation and sales teams as part of a "fine-tuning" ahead of the new financial year.
TheShout understands that innovations director, Jonathan Curnow, and innovation marketing manager Sam Reid were among the employees to leave the company in redundancies over the last few weeks.
TheShout also understands that innovation manager Justine von Reibnitz has left, as has insights manager Colin Glynn.
It's believed there were also a number of lay-offs from Diageo's sales teams, with key account manager Michael Lance among those who departed last Friday.
Lance has reportedly started at Treasury Wine Estates this week as national account manager for LMG and NILWA.
When contacted by TheShout, Diageo did not want to go into specific detail about the changes, but said the total number of roles impacted was less than 20.
The company stressed that it is still in good shape and has in fact grown market share over the last financial year in what has been a tough market.
"The recent changes were a fine-tuning of our business structure as we head into the next financial year," Diageo said.
"A number of roles were impacted across the entire organisation, some new roles have been created and others taken out of the structure."
Diageo Australia managing director Tim Salt said innovation is a proven growth driver for the company and it will continue to be a priority.
"Our focus is on shaping the long term future of spirits and premix, and the structure of our innovation team reflects this," he said.
"At the same time, we are focused on engaging with our customers to drive category growth. Innovation and continuing to drive our fast growing premium and super premium brands remain key to this."
The company will shortly announce an appointment for the newly created role of head of innovation.