Diageo confirms Oliver Loomes as new Irish country director

Mr Loomes led the inaugural Arthur’s Day campaign

Diageo has named Oliver Loomes as its new country director of Ireland in place of David Smith, who has held the position since July 2011.

Mr Loomes has been with Diageo for 16 years and led the Guinness 250th celebration in 2009 in Ireland and the inaugural Arthur's Day campaign the following year.

A native of Dublin, Mr Loomes is a graduate of UCD and the Michael Smurfit Business School. He joined Diageo in 1999 from the Mars Corporation where he had spent seven years working in a number of sales and marketing positions in Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe.

Mr Loomes has been the global brand director for Guinness since March 2011, where he has overseen marketing programmes across more than 130 countries.


Prior to this he held a number of positions including director of marketing and innovation where he played a key role in the revitalisation of the lager category with leading brands such as Carlsberg and Budweiser.

Mr Loomes replaces Mr Smith who was recently appointed as managing director, Diageo Australia

“I’m hugely excited about taking on this role. Diageo is a company with some of Ireland’s most iconic brands, not least Guinness, Smithwick’s and Baileys, which are a vital element of what is a vibrant and dynamic Irish drinks industry. In the last 12 months Guinness has returned to growth in Ireland, and I look forward to building on that success with a great team of colleagues in Diageo Ireland,” said Mr Loomes.

Sales of Guinness rose 2 per cent in Ireland in the year ending June 30th but were flat elsewhere, according to the latest results from Diageo, which were published at the end of July. Sales of Baileys - the most popular cream liquer in Ireland - were unchanged locally but fell by 4 per cent globally.

The results showed Guinness volumes rose 2.6 per cent in total trade in Ireland in the 12 months to the end of June with off trade growth rising 7.5 per cent. The group has a 34 per cent volume share for the on trade in the Republic and a 19.8 per cent share in the North.

Globally, Guinness sales were flat with Diageo saying that the brand performed well in both the US, with sales up 3 per cent, and in Western Europe, where sales rose by 2 per cent.

“Our Irish business is a strong and important part of Diageo, and I’m delighted to be able to announce Oliver as our new country director. Oliver has a wealth of experience and knowledge of both the Irish business and the drinks industry in general, which he will bring to his new role,” said John Kennedy, president, Diageo Europe.

Diageo, which is the world’s largest spirits company, with brands that also include Smifnoff Vodka and Johnnie Walker Scotch, forecast a return to sales growth after reporting revenue that was unchanged in the 12 months ending June 30th.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times