Close Menu

Diageo looks beyond NPD with new breakthrough innovation team

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has created a ‘breakthrough innovation’ team to lead advancements beyond product development.

Guy Middleton will lead the breakthrough innovation team

The breakthrough innovation team will focus on developing platforms, new business models, and enhancing future values for Diageo, its consumers and wider society.

Guy Middleton will lead the innovation team as global breakthrough innovation director. He previously held the role of general manager innovation – Asia Pacific.

Middleton said: “The breakthrough innovation team has been created to stretch Diageo’s thinking beyond what it is today, ‘painting a picture’ of a future that is desirable for Diageo, our consumers and society as a whole.

“People may feel a little discomfort when they initially enter ‘breakthrough’ territory, however the ambition of this team is test, learn and ‘de-risk’ new ideas, ensuring the future breakthrough innovations that move into the core of the business are less susceptible to potential threats and are more effective at driving Diageo forward.

“We’re a company built on great innovators like Arthur Guinness and Johnnie Walker, and the launch of this team is a big step towards ensuring our brands remain at the forefront of social celebration.”

The new team will help Diageo ‘disrupt’ with new platforms, technologies and experiences, and also by building on previous ideas – such as the AI-powered whisky experience What’s Your Whisky.

Furthermore, the group will help shape the future of Diageo’s current portfolio, with notions such as last year’s launch of ‘Elli’, Seedlip’s virtual AI-concierge that answers consumers’ questions about the brand.

Sustainability will also be part of the breakthrough innovation team’s work, which will aid Diageo towards the goals outlined in its Society 2030: Spirit of Progress action plan.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No