LONDON – Diageo’s global brand and communications director Dominic Redfearn has left the drinks giant after 16 years to lead strategic communications at Shell.

Redfearn, who takes up his new post on 25 September, will be succeeded at Diageo by Brendan O’Grady, who was previously chief communications and marketing officer at Guardian Media Group.

O’Grady, a former Downing Street, Home Office and Foreign Office press spokesperson, had led communications for Guardian Media Group for more than six years, and was promoted to global communications and marketing officer last December. He was previously at Pearson for nearly seven years, latterly as SVP, corporate and financial communications.

At Shell, Redfearn will replace Frans Everts, who has been at the energy firm for 22 years and was EVP for corporate and external relations before becoming president-director of Shell Netherlands this April.

Redfearn will lead strategic communications within the oil and gas company’s corporate relations function, reporting to Tony Nunan, chief of staff and corporate relations. He will work alongside EVP government relations John Crocker, who joined Shell in 2003.

At Diageo, whose global brands include Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Tanqueray and Baileys, Redfearn had spent eight years in the top comms job. As principal communications advisor to the CEO and global executive committee, he was responsible for reputation strategy, corporate communications, financial communications, employee engagement and internal communications, crisis and issues management, campaigning and PR and the corporate brand. Between 2016 and 2017 he was also responsible for corporate affairs strategy across Asia-Pacific.

He joined Diageo in 2007, initially as head of corporate, broadcast and digital media, with a broadcast production background at Dow Jones, CNBC and Medialink. He then moved into a head of media and content role, before taking on a newly-created role in 2014 to create a stronger Diageo corporate brand.

In a LinkedIn post announcing his move, Redfearn said of Diageo: “It is a special company full of incredible talent - the best brand builders in the world. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with so many exceptional people there and to learn from leaders past and present…I am delighted to be joining Shell later this month to lead global communications, and look forward to working with the team as it enables the balanced energy transition the world needs and helps build the net zero energy system of the future.”