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Red Stripe Boss Mark McKenzie leaves Diageo


Red Stripe boss Mark McKenzie is the latest top manager to get the axe as Diageo continues to reorganise its operations regionally.

Yesterday, the local brewer announced in a press statement that McKenzie, its managing director, “will be stepping down from the board and will be leaving the company after more than five years”.

He will be replaced by Alan Barnes, who will also be responsible for “the Northern Latin America & Caribbean beer interests of Diageo plc, which has a controlling interest in Red Stripe,” according to the release.

Barnes, who headed up Seychelles Brewing Company and who was general manager of Diageo’s Indian Ocean operations in the Seychelles, Reunion, Mauritius and Madagascar, will take the top slot in Jamaica on July 1, while McKenzie will stay on through the month of July “to support a smooth leadership transition,” said the release.

Richard Byles, chairman of the board of Red Stripe, through the press release said the board made the decision to “refresh the leadership” of the Jamaican business.

“After five challenging years, with much that we can all be proud of, the board has decided that it is again time to refresh the leadership of this iconic Jamaican business,” he said.

In April, Red Stripe Jamaica was made part of Diageo’s Caribbean and Northern Latin America division, which was done to “prevent duplication of roles in the Caribbean and allow Red Stripe and Diageo to ‘expand and connect’ its businesses in the region,” according to a company statement made then.

As a result, 20 jobs were cut, including the senior positions of director of marketing, held by Wayne Lawrence, and head of corporate relations, which was held by Maxine Whittingham-Osborne.

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Saturday, January 20, 6:46 pm

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