Diageo CEO Sir Ivan Menezes has announced he will retire and depart from the Diageo Board on 30 June 2023, following 10 years leading the company.
Debra Crew, currently Chief Operating Officer, will be appointed Chief Executive Officer and join the Diageo Board, effective 1 July 2023.
Menzes joined Diageo through the merger of Guinness plc and Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997 and has held a number of senior positions in the business including Chief Operating Officer; President, Diageo North America; Chairman, Diageo Asia Pacific; and Chairman, Diageo Latin America and Caribbean. He has been an Executive Director of Diageo since July 2012 and has served as Chief Executive Officer since July 2013.
During his tenure, Diageo has grown significantly and now sells over 200 brands in more than 180 markets. It is the number one company by net sales value in Scotch whisky, vodka, gin, rum, Canadian whisky, liqueurs and tequila.
In December 2022, Guinness also became the number one beer in the on-trade in Great Britain for the first time.
With Crew’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer, women will make up more than 50% of Diageo’s Executive Committee from 1 July 2023.
Prior to being appointed Chief Operating Officer in October 2022, Crew was President, Diageo North America and Global Supply, leading Diageo’s largest market to 14% organic net sales growth in fiscal 2022, following on from 20% organic net sales growth in the prior year.
Crew is the former President and CEO of Reynolds American, Inc., where she delivered strong performance growth before the company’s acquisition, having previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer, and President and Chief Commercial Officer. Prior to that, she spent five years at PepsiCo, where she served as President, North America Nutrition; President, PepsiCo Americas Beverages; and President, Western Europe Region. Prior to PepsiCo, Debra held positions with Kraft Foods, Nestlé S.A. and Mars, Inc.
Diageo Chairman Javier Ferrán said: “The Board is enormously grateful for Ivan’s contribution over the past decade. Under his stewardship, Diageo has consistently delivered a truly impressive performance to become one of the most respected businesses in the world.
“Ivan has transformed Diageo’s global footprint, brand portfolio and strategic focus, positioning our business as a clear leader in premium drinks. At the same time as delivering consistent shareholder returns, Ivan has nurtured a diverse and talented global workforce and made significant progress on the most material sustainability issues facing our business. Ivan leaves Diageo extremely well positioned for future growth, and we thank him again for everything he has helped us to achieve.
“The Board has diligently planned for Ivan’s successor, and we are delighted to have appointed a leader of Debra’s calibre to the role. Debra has been a highly valued member of Diageo’s leadership team in recent years with an impressive track record of delivery both at Diageo and across other global consumer goods companies. She has deep consumer industry expertise as well as proven strategic capabilities, strong operational performance and a clear ability to build and lead teams. I have no doubt that Diageo is in the right hands for the next phase of its growth.”
Menezes said: “It has been an enormous honour leading Diageo over the past decade. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved during that time, and I would like to thank my 28,000 talented colleagues around the world for all of their hard work, creativity and passion. I would also like to thank the Board for their encouragement, challenge and support over the years.
“I am delighted to be handing over the reins to Debra. In the time that we have worked together, I have been consistently impressed with her passion for growth and for building high performing teams. I am confident that under Debra’s leadership, and with our extraordinary portfolio of brands and culture, Diageo will go on to deliver our long-term performance ambition.”
Crew said: “I am delighted to be appointed Chief Executive Officer of Diageo. Ivan leaves Diageo in a very strong position for future growth and I look forward to working with our teams around the world to capture the opportunities ahead.
“I am focused on continuing Diageo’s extraordinary track record of building world-leading brands and enhancing our reputation as one of the most responsible businesses in what I believe to be the most exciting consumer products category. It is an incredible privilege to be leading Diageo through the next phase of its development.”