By Elena Vardon and Michael Susin


Diageo PLC on Tuesday said that Chief Executive Ivan Menezes will be retiring after nearly 10 years in the role and will be replaced by current Chief Operating Officer Debra Crew.

The London-based maker of Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, Guinness stout and Smirnoff vodka said Mr. Menezes will leave the board on June 30 and Ms. Crew will join on July 1.

Mr. Menezes is credited with growing the business significantly since he became CEO in July 2013 with, Diageo now selling around 200 brands in more than 180 markets.

"The board is enormously grateful for Ivan's contribution over the past decade...Ivan has transformed Diageo's global footprint, brand portfolio and strategic focus, positioning our business as a clear leader in premium drinks," Chairman Javier Ferran said.

Mr. Menezes joined the group in 1997 through the merger of Guinness PLC and Grand Metropolitan PLC and since then has held a number of senior positions in the business, serving as CEO from July 2013.

Ms. Crew, who has been COO since October 2022, has previously served as president of Diageo North America and global supply divisions, the company said. Before that, she was president and CEO of Reynolds American, Inc., following a number of executive roles.

"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," Mr. Ferran said.

Despite being widely anticipated, the retirement of Mr. Menezes is a loss for Diageo given his successful tenure, RBC Capital Markets analysts James Jones and Emma Letheren said in a note. "We think Diageo was in poor shape when Ivan took over; now it's one of the most impressive companies we cover," they said.

On the other hand, Crew has an extensive background in consumer staples but is something of an unknown quantity, they added.

Shares at 0813 GMT were down 24.0 pence, or 0.7%, at 3,559.0 pence.


Write to Michael Susin at and Elena Vardon at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 28, 2023 04:55 ET (08:55 GMT)

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