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Edward Pilkington | Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer, Diageo North America

Interviewed by Nigel Robinson

We welcome Edward Pilkington, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer, Diageo North America for a raw conversation on the turning points in his life that got him to where he is now and what drives him to keep going.


Ed is currently Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer for Diageo North America where he oversees the full Diageo portfolio (spirits and beer). He is based in New York. Prior to this role, Ed was the CMO/Marketing and Innovation Director for Diageo Europe – again overseeing the full portfolio across 60 countries from the UK and across Europe to Russia.

Ed started his career as a Graduate at Guinness plc and in his first role was fortunate to manage distributors in the Caribbean. He then moved into a strategy role before spending a couple of years at L’Oréal. Ed then re-joined the drinks business and had a variety of roles across the world including Marketing Director for Australia (based in Sydney), Marketing and Innovation Director for Latin America and the Caribbean (based in Miami) and Global category Director for Vodka. Rum and Gin (based Amsterdam) which included leading brands like Smirnoff, Captain Morgan and Tanqueray globally.

Ed is passionate about building brands and innovation in general and has loved the opportunity to do that in many places around the world. Within the drinks industry Ed is the “Grand rectifier” (Head) of the Gin Guild (set up to help celebrate excellence in Gin around the world) and a Liveryman of the worshipful company of Distillers.

We hope you enjoy our raw conversation with Ed. Editing and sound mixing of this episode was done by Clara Ernoult.