London-headquartered global distiller and winemaker Allied Domecq admitted Tuesday it has suspended cmo Kim Manley while it investigates "personal financial irregularities".
Although the suspension imposed by the globe's second largest alcohol purveyor happened towards the end of September, the news became public only this week. An internal inquiry has been launched into the "irregularities" which, it is reported, run into "tens of thousands of pounds".
Revealed a company spokesman: "I can confirm that Kim Manley is suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation by Allied Domecq." Manley's duties have temporarily passed to senior vice president for marketing, Simon Stuart.
Manley, an Australian, joined Allied as cmo in the fall of 2000. Previously, he was president of Smirnoff and the marketing director of Guinness UDV in Australia.
In the wake of the company's announcement, Manley told reporters he was "shocked and disappointed" that it had confirmed his suspension without warning him the news was to be made public.
He insists he is involved in the investigation only because, as cmo, he is responsible for the actions of the entire marketing team. "When you are paid big bucks, the buck stops with you," he said.
Data sourced from mad.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff