Heineken UK has appointed a new UK MD following Rob Marijnen's return to the company's HQ in Amsterdam.
Marijnen, who will take up the role of business development manager, Africa and the Middle East, will be replaced in the UK by David Forde, who has been promoted from his previous role as director of commercial development for Heineken International, based in the Netherlands.
Forde has been with the company for nearly 20 years, joining the sales team in the Irish Republic in 1988. He held several marketing and brand management roles before moving to Amsterdam to work in the international marketing department. A three-year stint in Poland as marketing director followed, before he returned to the Netherlands in 2000 to take up the commercial development role.
"I am looking forward to building on the progress already made in driving the new premium continental positioning campaign for the brand in the UK, which we launched this summer," said Forde.
"The UK team has done a tremendous job growing Heineken into the premium brand it is today."
Building value back into the UK beer category would be his main focus, he said. As well as tapping into the growth of imported beers in the UK, highlighting its Dutch heritage in a series of campaigns, the brewer has also launched Heineken Café, a mobile café, to introduce Brits to a more continental drinking experience.
The company has also introduced new formats for the brand, including a new Heineken Draughtkeg launched last month and new Amstel bottles for the off-trade last October. "With growing consumer and trade acceptance behind the brand in the UK, our investment and a great team of talented people, I'm looking forward to maintaining this momentum," said Forde.