Cowan, who takes over from Ken Allen, was trading director for out-of-home and wholesale, where he led GlaxoSmithKline’s expansion of its drink brands, including Lucozade Energy, Lucozade Sport, Ribena and Horlicks. He joined the company in 2000 from Crookes Healthcare, where he was national accounts controller.
In his new role, Cowan is responsible for a core sales team of 300 people, as well as for the newly-created sales strategy, category planning and customer activation divisions.
Cowan said: “The challenge of developing and harnessing sales strategies for some of the UK’s most loved and trusted brands is one I relish.
“I have a first class team helping to deliver on this challenge.”