Diageo’s SEA senior marketing director Stuart La Brooy steps down

Stuart La Brooy is leaving his role as Diageo’s senior marketing director, strategic partnerships Asia. At Diageo, La Brooy led Diageo’s brand portfolio strategy (including Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Tanqueray, and Singleton) across more than nine partnerships and 10 markets across Asia.

La Brooy helped drive continued growth in the business by pivoting towards eCommerce, grocery channels and neighborhood restaurants when the pandemic disrupted the alcohol category, shifting consumers from cocktail bars and clubs to at home or with food occasions. Before Diageo, La Brooy led his own consultancy 2D6 and was also with P&G for 10 years, last helming the role of director, SK-II digital transformation and partnerships. On LinkedIn, La Brooy (pictured) described his three years at Diageo as amazing ones, and thanked his colleagues at Diageo for their friendship, support, and inspirational example. “I am so grateful to you as mentors, friends and comrades, and expect to see you again in the future as we keep walking,” he added.

He also shared several learning lessons from his time at Diageo. Among them was being clear on why you decide to join any role, and in tough times, use that clarity as your compass. “It keeps you grounded, helps you deal with the surprises or setbacks, and will help you know when it is time to leave,” he explained. La Brooy explained to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that he was brought on board by Diageo with a once in a lifetime challenge: to build its regional marketing team for emerging Southeast Asia from scratch.

“I found the prospect of building a high-performance marketing team and defining marketing’s role and influence in a large, complex and fast-moving business such as Diageo Asia an incredibly exciting one that I never had before. Three and a half years later, we now support all the partnership businesses Diageo has in Asia, our marketing unit leads annual planning and brand performance is a strong voice in the monthly business reviews, as well as other processes such as innovation and brand reputation,” he said.

La Brooy added that Diageo has also established a strong team and a brilliant agency creative network with great teams such as VaynerMedia, Publicis, 72&Sunny, CircleSquare, Tag and the Teeth, and a brilliant group of talented young marketers to lead the company’s portfolio of brands forward. “I am so grateful for the opportunity and support I received in Diageo to tackle such an amazing challenge, and I’m looking forward to the next one,” he said.

According to him, the hardest thing about leaving a job is the people you no longer get to see every day. “Marketing gets nothing done without the support of the entire business. I owe everything to my colleagues in my leadership team and my partners in the market, who have helped create a high trust but challenging space for us to have the right conversations about the business . I will also miss my marketing team, who constantly blow me away with their brilliance, commitment. I was truly honored to be able to work with them and have their trust,” he added.

Additionally, La Brooy also highlighted in his post the importance of taking the time to understand and listen before making changes. He explained that one can create impact by first finding consensus, and building out from that as the foundation. “The most powerful voice should try to always speak last, not first,” he added. According to him, credibility and influence are also one’s key currencies as marketers tackle more complex problems that need to be solved through teams. To build both, individuals should ensure they can understand and connect their priorities to the focus areas of their audience and stakeholders.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Diageo for comment.

Earlier this month, the company appointed Wilson Del Socorro to lead corporate relations in APAC as director. He is currently part of the APAC leadership team headed by Sam Fischer, president for APAC and global travel, and reports to Dan Mobley, global corporate relations director, Diageo. He was previously the global director of government affairs, based in London. On the communications front, Diageo also saw Jonathan Sanchez, former director of corporate relations, Southeast Asia, leave to join WPP as VP.

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