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O’Dell leaves Foster’s

Top Foster’s executive Jamie O’Dell has quit the company.

O’Dell, managing director for Australia, Asia and the Pacific, will leave on Friday.

Earlier this year he was overlooked for the CEO’s position, to which board member Ian Johnston was permanently appointed in September.

A source close to him said: ‘After nine years with Foster’s and as head of the company’s largest business unit he was in good place to take the top job.’

O’Dell is not being replaced. Heads of units who previously reported to him now report to Johnston.

One analyst said that there was a definite ‘de-emphasising’ of the roles of business heads, suggesting that further management changes were likely.

Johnston, a former managing director, global confectionary, with Cadbury Schweppes, became acting CEO in July when Trevor O’Hoy left following an AUS$760m writedown of Foster’s wine assets.

He and chairman David Crawford took charge of the subsequent review which is due for completion by mid-February.

O’Dell joined Foster’s after three years in Singapore as vice-president of Allied Domecq’s global duty free position, having been managing director of Allied Domecq’s URM brands in the UK from 1995-97.

Before that he was managing director of Allied Domecq’s Tetley Australia.

Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide

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