Mike Middleton has been appointed as the Managing Director of the bespoke agency solution for Distell called Liquid, effective from 1 April 2019. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - Mike Middleton has been appointed as the Managing Director of the bespoke agency solution for Distell called Liquid, effective from 1 April 2019. 

Middleton brings with him over 20 years of marketing and brand experience as well as knowledge of the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, gained in the Europe, Middle East & Africa regions.

He joins Liquid from Yum! Restaurants International, where he worked for over three years, as Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to that, Middleton held senior positions at Mondelez International, where he was Group Chief Marketing Officer for Sub-Saharan Africa Cadbury and Kraft Foods before being Marketing Director for Europe, looking after the Biscuits portfolio.

"This is a very exciting time to be joining Liquid and I’m thrilled to be part of the senior team of such a dynamic and ambitious company," said Middleton.

Liquid is in the process of driving forward significant developments for Distell’s Tier 1 brands, which include Savanna, Hunter’s, Edge, Viceroy, Amarula Cream, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Scottish Leader. This involves reshaping their marketing strategy and placing emphasis in delivering on Distell’s global growth ambitions.

"One of the tasks I am going to be working on is reinvigorating the relationship with our customers by strengthening our existing partnerships" said Middleton.

He adde, "Further, I would like to re-energise the business by driving innovation and maximizing technology. The industry is going through a transformational change and technology is playing a fundamental role within this change. In addition to that I will be leading the growth and expansion by exploring opportunities in Africa and key international markets".

Middleton is aspirational in ensuring that he plays an integral and hands-on approach to the role, spending half his time with the creative team in Johannesburg and the other half in Stellenbosch with the client, a location with which he is all too familiar.

Middleton said, "It helps that Distell is based in Stellenbosch as I am currently studying philosophy and future studies through Stellenbosch University — so the whole thing came together quite nicely in the sense that I can continue my studies, I can work on amazing brands with Distell, and I can gain valuable agency experience which is exactly what I need". 

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, concluded, "Mike is an outstanding addition to the Liquid executive leadership team. He has an extremely impressive marketing background, having held successive management roles at some of the world’s leading Fast-Moving Consumer Goods organisations. Mike truly understands the importance of partnership and trust; values that absolutely underpin and drive Liquid’s approach to supporting our client, Distell. Mike will be a real asset and we’re delighted to have him on board". 

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