High-flier Penny Hughes, for ten years president of Coca-Cola UK, has been named president-designate of Britain's Advertising Association, the trade body representing all sides of the nation's marketing industry.

Hughes (44), is the nominee of outgoing AA president and former Unilever co-chairman Niall Fitzgerald. She will take up the largely titular post on April 14.

According to Fitzgerald: "Penny represents a new generation of senior business thinkers who can bring a real breadth of marketing experience that will be of immense value to the communication business."

These days a serial non-executive company director, Hughes made her mark in 1987 when, as marketing director of Coca-Cola UK, she masterminded the integration of Cadbury's soft drinks business into the Coke-dominated joint venture Coca-Cola Schweppes.

As several Schweppes executives observed at the time, Hughes' single-minded execution of the merger made Margaret Thatcher's management style seem ambivalent.

Within five years she was appointed president of Coca-Cola UK, resigning in 1995 in favour of motherhood and a string of non-executive directorships with major companies, among them Vodafone, Reuters and Trinity Mirror. She has also served on prime minister Blair's Forward Strategy Unit.

Says Hughes of her new appointment: "I bring more than twenty years experience of guiding brands and businesses to meet the needs of consumers across a wide range of products and services.

"As a passionate believer in responsible advertising I look forward to contributing to the important work of the Advertising Association."

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