Diageo appoints Menezes as COO

Ivan Menezes has been appointed COO of Diageo, very likely marking him as the next CEO.

Formerly responsible for the drinks giant’s North American operations and chairman of the Asia Pacific, Latin American and Caribbean businesses, his role has been widened to include all markets.

He will take up his new role tomorrow (1 March) and will be replaced in the US by Larry Schwartz.

Chief executive Paul Walsh said: “Given our strong performance momentum and the scope and scale of our ambition, the Diageo board and I agree that now is the right time to extend Ivan’s remit to embrace all of our markets globally.”

The appointment further bolsters speculation that it will be Menezes that succeeds Walsh when the latter finally moves on, a possibility already covered by the drinks business.

Walsh too was made COO back in 2000 and was named CEO in September of that year. However, speculation that Walsh is on the verge of leaving have been circulating since 2010 at least.

It is thought unlikely that he will move on before at least one more major acquisition to cement his legacy at the company.

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