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SABMiller puts global comms chief Nigel Fairbrass on gardening leave

The international brewer behind Grolsch and Miller has imposed a three-month period of gardening leave on Nigel Fairbrass, its senior vice-president of global communications and reputation.

Nigel Fairbrass: leaving to

Nigel Fairbrass: leaving to "pursue a new opportunity"

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It emerged yesterday that Fairbrass, who has been in his current role since 2011, was leaving the company after ten years.

Gardening leave was used because Fairbrass was unable to tell the company what he is planning to do next and is familiar with sensitive information, according to director of corporate affairs Catherine May.  

Fairbrass, who is understood to be leaving to "pursue a new opportunity", declined to comment.

In the memo from May his contribution to the company was praised and he was wished well in his future endeavours.

It read: "Nigel has played a central role in building the excellent corporate reputation that SABMiller enjoys today and has helped deliver many important communications campaigns for corporate M&A activities including our acquisition of Foster’s in Australia and the merger of Miller Brewing Company with Molson Coors in the USA. Nigel has also been a key member of the Corporate Affairs Leadership Council, providing specialist input to this policy setting group under the leadership of both Sue Clark, and more recently, myself."

Fairbrass worked at financial PR companies Brunswick and Tulchan before joining SABMiller as investor relations manager in 2004 and going on to become head of media relations.

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