Diageo to split region to focus on growth

LONDON (Reuters) - British spirits giant Diageo <DGE.L> is to split up its international region into Africa and Latin America in a policy to focus more resources on fast growing emerging markets and away from some mature markets.

The two new regions Latin America & Caribbean and Africa will continue to be run by their existing presidents Randy Millian and Nick Blazquez, while the president of the international region Stuart Fletcher will leave Diageo.

In a move to focus more attention on the regions, the group's Chief Customer Officer Ron Anderson will also leave, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Diageo's final portion of its international business, global travel and the Middle East, will become part of its Asia Pacific region led by Gilbert Ghostine.

Diageo has also launched a consultation process in Europe which could potentially lead to job losses, especially in tough markets such as Spain and Ireland, but Diageo declined to comment on reports it is expected to cut at least 180 jobs in Ireland, many at its Guinness brewery in Dublin.

"Over the next few months we will consult with our employees on further changes to our operating model and I expect to make an announcement at our prelims presentation in August as to the full extent of these changes," said Diageo's Chief Executive Paul Walsh said in a statement.

(Reporting by David Jones; Editing by Paul Sandle)