June 19/Healthcare Mergers, Acquisitions & Ventures Week -- Diageo appointed Debra Kelly-Ennis to the role of president of Diageo Canada and Jon Potter to the role of chief marketing officer of Diageo North America, effective September 1, 2008.

Kelly-Ennis, currently chief marketing officer of Diageo North America, will become president of Diageo Canada, reporting to Ivan Menezes, president and CEO of Diageo North America, and continue to be a member of the North American Executive Team. She will be replacing current President John Kennedy, who will become managing director of Diageo Ireland.

In leading the U.S. marketing organization for more than three years, Kelly- Ennis spearheaded several significant marketing initiatives, including Ciroc vodka's alliance with Sean Combs, and helped unify the sales and marketing teams, greatly impacting the growth of Diageo's brands in the U.S.

"Debra's extensive management experience, coupled with her ability to drive breakthrough ideas will be a major asset as we continue to grow in this strategic market," said Menezes. "During her tenure, Diageo's brands have grown significantly, outperforming the competition in all key measures."

In 2007, Kelly-Ennis joined the board of directors for Dress for Success, an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping economically disadvantaged women become economically independent. Working with Diageo employees and several agency partners, she created a ground-breaking campaign to generate awareness and record-breaking donations for Dress for Success, and created a philanthropic spirit within Diageo. For more than ten years, she has also served on the Pulte Corporation board of directors, where she chairs the governance committee and is a member of the audit committee.

Prior to her role at Diageo, Kelly-Ennis served as president and COO of Saab Cars and led the division to set U.S. sales records for new and used cars, as well as parts and accessories in 2003. In addition to her General Motors experience, she has held a number a number of marketing and sales leadership roles and general management positions with global companies RJR/Nabisco and Grand Metropolitan, plc.

Jon Potter, currently president of Global Marketing Vodka and Rum, will take on the role of chief marketing officer of Diageo North America, reporting to Menezes and will become a member of the North American Executive Team. In his new role, Potter will be charged with driving Diageo North America's overall marketing strategy.

"We are confident that Jon's brand building acumen and exemplary leadership skills will further propel our business as we grow in the North American market," said Menezes. "Jon brings to the role a great depth of marketing, commercial and global understanding."

In his current role as president Global Marketing Vodka and Rums, Potter has sharpened Diageo's strategy for Smirnoff Vodka and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, identifying opportunities for premiumization and global expansion respectively.

Prior to this, in his role as general manager Venture Africa, Potter led the region to exceed its plan and deliver exceptional growth on Diageo's global priority brands. Preceding that role, Potter was global brand director for Guinness, establishing a redefined global brand strategy that returned many regions in the world to growth.

From the June 23, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash