Ivan Menezes to take over at Diageo

Diageo has today announced that Ivan Menezes will become its new chief executive with effect from 1 July 2013. Paul Walsh, who will step down from the Board at the September 2013 Annual General Meeting, will retire from the company on 30 June 2014. 

Ivan MenezesIn the last 12 months Walsh will focus on “transitioning critical partner and external relationships to Menezes”. These will include those relationships essential to recent acquisitions, in particular the on-going purchase of United Spirits and Diageo’s relationship with United owner Vijay Mallya.

Dr Franz B. Humer, chairman of Diageo said: ‘Paul is an outstanding chief executive. He has served our business, its shareholders, employees and partners with enormous imagination and dedication over the past 13 years.

“I know he is justly proud of Diageo and its people and he leaves a great legacy for his successor. The Board is immensely grateful for his ambitious and thoughtful stewardship of the business and its people. The transition process which has been put in place enables Paul to contribute his knowledge and experience during Ivan’s first year as chief executive officer.

“We are delighted to have a leader of Ivan’s talents and global experience to succeed Paul. The handover is being made at a time when the business is strong and Ivan takes on the role of CEO at an exciting stage of the company’s global development.

“The Board is confident that Ivan will inspire our organisation and Diageo will continue to achieve our medium-term performance objectives.”

Menezes previously headed Diageo’s North America division for eight years before being appointed Diageo’s chief operating officer last year. Walsh has been CEO at Diageo since September 2000 and the company made no comment on what his next move would be, but he has previously said that he would like to take a chairmanship role at a FTSE 100 company, and has been linked with the role of chairman at consumer goods company Unilever.

Paul Walsh speaks exclusively to the drinks business in the May issue, which is out soon.

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