Paul Walsh appointed to USL board19th August, 2013 by Andy Young
Diageo has announced that former CEO Paul Walsh has been appointed as an additional director of United Spirits Limited.
Walsh’s appointment is effective from today and he will be joined as a director by Vikram Singh Mehta, who was appointed as an independent director of the company.
The appointment follows last week’s news Vijay Mallya and several other high profile directors resigned from the board with immediate effect. Mallya was joined by chief executive John Beard and director Ayani Nedungadi in stepping down from the board.
Diageo has been involved in a deal to buy United Spirits from Mallya for several years and recently hit problems after its offer to buy a 26% stake in USL was rebuffed by shareholders. As part of the deal Mallya is selling 27.4% of his shares in USL to Diageo.
When Walsh announced that he would be stepping down as CEO, he did say that he would stay on to help his successor Ivan Menezes. In particular Walsh’s role focuses on “transitioning critical partner and external relationships to Menezes”. These include the purchase of United Spirits and Diageo’s relationship with Mallya.
Although Walsh has stepped down from his role as CEO of Diageo, he will still be involved with the company, as this United Spirits role will run alongside his appointment to a role within the company’s Scotch whisky business, which was also announced last week.
Mehta joins the United Spirits board, with over 35 years of experience in Indian business, in particular within the oil industry. He currently serves on the boards of Colgate Palmolive India Limited, Mahindra & Mahindra and Vodafone India Limited, as well as Larsen & Toubro.