Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has named Simon Hawkins as its new regional director for London and the south east - its largest sales region in Europe.

He will head 450 staff across a number of trade channels and be responsible for driving growth and developing sales opportunities with retailers.

Hawkins was credited with overseeing last year's launch of energy drink Relentless, Coca-Cola's rival to Red Bull, successfully targeting the extreme sports market from the drink's UK base in Cornwall. Under his leadership, sales of Relentless rocketed 884.8% from £1.2m to £12.2m in its first year of trade, according to The Grocer's Top Products survey [Nielsen].

Hawkins has previously held a variety of sales roles at the soft drink giant, including trading director of convenience, sales controller of Coca-Cola GB's south region and a number of national account roles covering various trade channels. He replaces Daryl Jelinek who departed two weeks ago to lead the management team for Coca-Cola GB's involvement with the London Olympics.

Hawkins' appointment follows the arrival of Hubert Patricot, CCE MD of Europe and Great Britain, two months ago, replacing Kevin Warren who is heading up Canada.