Following an investigation into alleged malpractice within the Allied Domecq wines and spirits marketing department [WAMN: 08-Dec-04], the globe's second largest alcoholic drinks group formally announced on Thursday the departure of chief marketing officer Kim Manley.

Manley (42), who had been under suspension since September, was at the centre of a probe into financial irregularities. It reportedly focused on the marketing department's relationship with suppliers, including advertising agencies and research companies. Expense account fraud was also under investigation.

Manley, an Australian national, had earlier told UK marketing website BrandRepublic he was involved in the probe only because, as cmo, he was responsible for the actions of the entire marketing team.

"When you are paid big bucks, the buck stops with you," he said. The 'big bucks' reportedly amounted to £250,000 ($484.375; €364,547) annually.

Said an official statement by the company: "Kim leaves his role with immediate effect and without compensation. An external search will be initiated for a successor."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff