August 17/London/Retail Times -- Wessanen has promoted Gill Hesketh to marketing director and Alan Bird to commercial director across its U.K. brands: Clipper Teas, Kallo and Whole Earth.

Hesketh was previously marketing and commercial director of Clipper Teas and Bird was previously commercial director of Kallo Foods.

The appointments follow the acquisition of Clipper Teas by Wessanen in March 2012, and subsequent merger with its existing U.K. business – Kallo Foods.

Wessanen said Hesketh will now lead the ambitious growth and innovation plans of Kallo, Whole Earth; as well as Clipper and be responsible for marketing, technical and new product development. BIrd will take responsibility for customer management across the same portfolio.

Hesketh has been accredited with securing Clipper’s position as the fastest growing everyday tea brand. Prior to joining Clipper, Hesketh was global marketing manager at Bacardi and had previously held various roles at GSK, including work across its leading consumer brands Lucozade and Ribena.

Bird joined Kallo Foods as commercial director last year, having worked at Britvic, Interbrew, Kettle Foods, CTB and more recently Premier Foods, where he was he responsible for the Hovis brand in Tesco.

Patrick Cairns CEO of Wessanen U.K., said, “Clipper added to Whole Earth and Kallo is a very exciting portfolio of innovative challenger brands, with all three in year on year double digit growth. With Gill and Alan we have the marketing and sales leadership that will allow them to build on the momentum created by the former team and them to realise their great potential.”

Hesketh said, “I am incredibly excited to be working across such dynamic brands with enormous potential. Clipper Teas, Kallo and Whole Earth all have their own individual identity, innovation and growth plans, and I am very much looking forward to helping take them to the next level, building upon Wessanen’s already rich 250-year legacy in natural and organic food. “

Elaine Underwood, the previous marketing director of Kallo and Whole Earth leaves at the end of August after a successful three years developing the brands and marketing team at Kallo Foods.

“With the Clipper integration it’s an appropriate time for me to move on and explore new opportunities. I am proud of what has been achieved during my time at Kallo and the momentum that is now there on the brands. I wish the business every success in the future,” said Underwood.