Friday, October 31, 2008

J Wray&Nephew GM steps down

Published: Friday October 31, 2008

J Wray&Nephew's General Manager for Jamaican operations, Michael Benjamin has stepped down from that position after a year at the prestigious spirits company in what appears to be a management restructuring of the subsidiary of the conglomerate Lascelles deMercado.
Earlier this year Lascelles was acquired by Angostura, a subsidiary of Trinidadian powerhouse CL Financial for close to US$1 billion.

Speaking about the deal late last year, Executive Director of Angostura Holdings, Michael Carballo said: "What we want to do is merge all the Appleton and Wray&Nephew brands with the Angostura brands and list that new company on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE). We are looking to create something like a Caribbean Diageo. The aim is to get to the point where something is not really rum unless it comes from the Caribbean, rather like Scotch whisky is only the real deal if it comes from Scotland."

Benjamin's role will now be assumed by J Wray&Nephew's managing director for Global Marketing, David McConnell. J Wray& Nephew has a complex management structure. The top boss is managing director of Lascelles de Mercado, William Mercado. Young David McConnell serves in the capacity as a joint CEO taking responsibility for the global marketing team, while Paul Henriques serves as managing director for production and agriculture. Three general managers report to David McConnell: a GM for local business, one for international and another global marketing. Roger Thompson, formerly of Red Stripe and Caribbean Broilers, has been recruited to help out with the international aspect.

Speaking with Caribbean Business Report last night, David McConnell said: "We felt there was a need to streamline our management structure given the uncertainty in the global financial markets. We have made one or two line managers redundant but there has been no widespread redundancies of our workers.

"We have to become leaner and I will be taking a more handson approach. I must take this opportunity to say that Michael Benjamin did a great job here and I thank him most sincerely."

Source: Jamaica Observer

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