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Diageo CEO Sir Ivan Menezes to retire

Diageo has announced that Sir Ivan Menezes is retiring as chief executive officer and member of the company's board on 30 June. Menezes will be succeeded by Debra Crew – currently COO at the drinks giant – who will take up the post on 1 July, becoming the company's first female CEO. Diageo has been led by Menezes since July 2013, and is said to have overseen a period of significant growth for the company. He originally joined the spirits maker through the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997. Menezes commented: “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 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.” As a result of Crew’s appointment, women will make up more than 50% of Diageo’s executive committee from 1 July. She originally joined the Diageo board as a non-executive director in April 2019, before stepping down from the board when appointed president of Diageo North America in July 2020. Crew has previously held positions at PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Nestlé and Mars. Diageo chairman, Javier Ferrán, said: “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.” Ferrán added that Crew has been a “highly valued member of Diageo’s leadership team in recent years with an impressive track record of delivery”. He commented: “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.” 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.”

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