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    Diageo announces Sir John Manzoni as new chair

    Sir John Manzoni

    Diageo has on Tuesday announced that current non-executive director Sir John Manzoni will be appointed chair of its board when current chair Javier Ferrán retires.

    Manzoni is expected to take charge in February next year.

    He joined the Diageo board in October 2020, having been chief executive of the UK Civil Service from 2014 to 2020.

    He is currently chair of FTSE-listed multinational energy business SSE plc and a non-executive director of engineering and technology business KBR, Inc.

    He was previously a non-executive director of the multinational drinks company SAB Miller plc for 11 years from 2004 to 2015. Earlier in his career Manzoni served as president and chief executive of Talisman Energy, and held a number of senior executive roles at BP plc.

    Javier Ferrán joined the Diageo board in July 2016 and was appointed Chair on 1 January 2017.

    Diageo announces Sir John Manzoni as new chair
    Javier Ferrán

    “On behalf of the entire board, I want to express our gratitude to Javier,” Susan Kilsby, Diageo’s senior independent director who led the appointment process, said.

    “He has led our board with great distinction, helping us to attain new levels of commercial success and to strengthen our position as one of the most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world. We are proud of the progress Diageo has made under his stewardship, achieving average annual total shareholder returns of 8 per cent over the last decade, and driving diversity throughout our organisation, with over 70 per cent of the board and 44 per cent of our senior leadership now comprised of women.”

    Commenting on the new appointment, Kilsby said: “The board is delighted to appoint John as Diageo’s next Chair, following an extensive search process. John has an outstanding track record of leadership within beverage alcohol and across a number of other complex and fast-changing sectors in the UK and globally. His experience and expertise will be instrumental as Diageo continues to develop and grow its global business in the years ahead.”

    Ferrán said: “It has been a true privilege to lead Diageo’s board during a period in which we have achieved significant growth, reshaped our portfolio and geographic footprint, and navigated widespread global volatility. I look forward to working with John, the board and all my Diageo colleagues to ensure a smooth transition over the coming months.”

    Manzoni said: “It will be a privilege to take on this role and to succeed Javier, whose leadership and acumen have been so valuable to our business and to board colleagues.

    “Since joining the board, I have been continually impressed by the growth potential of the organisation, the quality of our brands, and the dedication and high standards of Diageo colleagues around the world. Diageo has an unrivalled portfolio, a global footprint and world-leading capabilities, and I look forward to supporting the executive team to ensure that we deliver on our potential.”

    Debra Crew, chief executive, said: “Javier has been an invaluable source of strategic counsel and advice for me and our wider leadership team, and I want to thank him personally for the role he has played in stewarding the business so successfully.

    “With a strong focus on execution, we will continue to invest behind our iconic brands to create value for shareholders and maintain our position as an industry leader in total beverage alcohol, an attractive sector with a long runway for growth. I look forward to working with John as Chair and the rest of the Board to achieve those ambitions.”

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