Diageo GB has named Simon Litherland as its new managing director, with current boss Benet Slay taking on responsibility for the northern Europe region.

Litherland joins the drinks group after a stint as managing director of Brandhouse, its South African joint venture with brewing giant Heineken.

News of the appointment comes after it was announced that Slay would be stepping up from his current role as domestic MD, which he has held since 2006, on 1 July.

As north European MD he will oversee operations in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries.

He joined the company in 2004 from crisp maker Walkers.