More

    Diageo names Debra Crew as new boss as Ivan Menezes retires  

    Debra Crew

    British drinks giant Diageo, maker of Guinness stout, Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whisky, named chief operating officer Debra Crew as its first woman CEO on Tuesday (28 March).

    Diageo said that Crew, a 52-year-old former US Army officer, will take the reins in July after 10 years under the stewardship of Indian-born Ivan Menezes, who is retiring at age 63.

    The American executive’s appointment will bring to 10 the number of women CEOs currently running a company listed on London’s FTSE 100 index of big firms. Others include Alison Rose at NatWest bank and Emma Walmsley at drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline.

    Menezes, a dual US-British citizen, joined the group in 1997, through the merger of Guinness plc and Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997 and has held a number of senior positions in the business including as chief operating officer and heading North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean regions.

    He has been an executive director of Diageo since July 2012 and has served as chief executive since July 2013, overseeing an outstanding period of change, growth and high performance.

    Diageo names Debra Crew as new boss as Ivan Menezes retires  
    Ivan Menezes

    “The Board is enormously grateful for Ivan’s contribution over the past decade,” Javier Ferrán, Chairman, Diageo, said.

    “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.”

    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 per cent organic net sales growth in fiscal 2022, following on from 20 per cent organic net sales growth in the prior year.

    She originally joined the Diageo Board as a non-executive director in April 2019, before stepping down from the board when appointed President, Diageo North America in July 2020.

    Crew previously served as the chief executive of Reynolds American, Inc., a subsidiary of British American Tobacco. Prior to that, she held positions with PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Nestlé and Mars, Inc.

    “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,” Ferrán commented.

    “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 commented: “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.”

    Latest

    A chip off the old block

    Kersheaup Vagadia leads the way for a next generation...

    What are the new post-Brexit border controls starting on 30 April?

    On 30 April, the second phase of Britain's new...

    New Brexit border checks could stifle fine food imports from EU, warn sellers

    Panzer's delicatessen in north west London has lost 37...

    Bira launches podcast for independent retailers

    The British Independent Retailers Association is giving independent businesses across the...

    Don't miss

    A chip off the old block

    Kersheaup Vagadia leads the way for a next generation...

    What are the new post-Brexit border controls starting on 30 April?

    On 30 April, the second phase of Britain's new...

    New Brexit border checks could stifle fine food imports from EU, warn sellers

    Panzer's delicatessen in north west London has lost 37...

    Bira launches podcast for independent retailers

    The British Independent Retailers Association is giving independent businesses across the...

    Shipping container full of illegal vapes can’t be disposed of

    By Natalia Forero, Local Democracy Reporter A shipping container full...

    What are the new post-Brexit border controls starting on 30 April?

    On 30 April, the second phase of Britain's new post-Brexit border controls for food imports from the European Union will begin - three years...

    New Brexit border checks could stifle fine food imports from EU, warn sellers

    Panzer's delicatessen in north west London has lost 37 suppliers from the European Union since Britain left the bloc's single market in 2021, and...

    Bira launches podcast for independent retailers

    The British Independent Retailers Association is giving independent businesses across the UK a powerful new resource with the launch of its "High Street Matters" podcast.Hosted by...