Syl Saller

Syl Saller

Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Diageo
London, United Kingdom

Summary

Syl Saller is the Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer for Diageo plc and a member of the Executive Committee. Diageo operates in 180 countries with a portfolio of over 400 brands including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Tanqueray and Guinness. Syl oversees all Global Marketing, Design, Innovation as well as the Futures Group, and Reserve, Diageo’s luxury division, worldwide. Before Syl was appointed CMO, she was Global Innovation Director, responsible for Diageo’s innovation strategy, including all new product development, launch programmes and R&D.
Syl was a Non Exec Director for Domino’s Pizza Group from 2011 to 2014. She chaired the Nominations Committee and was a member of the Remuneration Committee. Syl currently chairs the Distill Ventures Investment Board. Distill Ventures is Diageo’s investment arm for start-ups, supporting entrepreneurs in growing new brands which Diageo has a right to purchase at a later date.
Syl’s experience ranges from luxury goods to FMCG to retail. She has a proven track record in complex multi-nationals as well as in smaller scale organisations in both developed and emerging markets. Her functional expertise is broad and includes marketing, innovation, sales, supply and general management.
She is strategic, visionary, highly commercial and has consistently been seen as an exceptionally inspirational leader. She is known for her coaching skills and is a member of the Association for Coaches and the Marketing Academy Coaching Faculty.
Syl is well recognised by external organisations as a leader and expert in her field. She was named Marketer of the Year, DeBrett's/Times 500 Most Influential People in Britain, Forbes top 50 CMOs, Ad Age’s Women to Watch,Top 100 Most Innovative CMO's, Marketing’s Vision 100 and Campaign’s Power 100. She is a thought leader and sought after keynote speaker. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Hampshire and has an MBA from the Harvard Business School. 

Positions

Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer:
Diageo
July 2013 - Present (4 years 3 months)
Syl Saller is the Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer for Diageo and a member of Diageo’s Executive Committee. Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business operating in 180 countries with a portfolio of over 400 brands including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness. Diageo is a FTSE 10 company with revenues of £10.5 Bn, a market cap of £54 Bn and £1.5 Bn in A&P, with over 1300 people in marketing.
Syl oversees all Global Marketing, Design, Innovation as well as the Futures Group, and Reserve, Diageo’s luxury division, worldwide. She is leading the company through a period of significant change as it navigates a rapidly changing consumer environment, technology and route to consumer disruption and volatile trading conditions, particularly in emerging markets
Non Executive Director
Domino's Pizza Group Limited
September 2011 - September 2014 (3 years)
Chair of Nominations Committee, Member of Remuneration Committee.
Global Innovation Director
Diageo
2004 - 2013 (9 years)
Reporting to the Chief Marketing Officer, spearheads Diageo’s innovation strategy, including all new product development, launch programs, R&D, Design and Licensing for Diageo worldwide. 12 direct reports and 3 indirect from Finance, HR and Supply. Innovation team consists of over 200 people globally.
Marketing Director
Diageo
1999 - 2004 (5 years)
Led all marketing functions: consumer marketing; consumer planning, commercial marketing, innovation and the Reserve brands Group. Responsible for a department of 125 people and 40+ brands including Guinness, Smirnoff, Gordon’s, Baileys, Bells, and Johnnie Walker.
Director of Marketing and Development
Allied Domecq
April 1997 - November 1999 (2 years 7 months)
Director of Marketing and Development, reporting to the Chief Executive. Direct responsibility for consumer planning, food development and strategic new concept functions for 3500 pubs, bars and restaurants. Indirect responsibility for all marketing functions.Prior to this Vice President of Marketing for Allied Domecq quick service restaurants (Dunkin Donuts, Togo's, Baskin Robbins). Responsible for Togo’s Marketing, Food Development, Purchasing, New Store Design and Consumer Research.
General Manager
The Holson Burnes Group
1990 - 1997 (7 years)
Reporting to the President; served as general manager for the Holson Album Division, the leader in mass merchant and department store photo albums. Manage team of sales, marketing, design and finance professionals. Dotted line responsibility for manufacturing plant. Full p&l responsibility. Turned around the division, increasing operating income from –3% to 15%.
Senior Brand Manager
Procter & Gamble
1984 - 1990 (6 years)
Personal Care Division, Gillette. Senior Product Manager, New Business Development Group, prior to that Associate Product Manager; Territory Sales Representative; Assistant Product Manager

Education

MBA

Harvard Business School, Boston
1982 - 1984 (2 years)
Activities and Societies: Vice President Women's Student Association

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