Diageo’s North American President Announces Retirement

Deirdre Mahlan, President Diageo North America

Diageo has announced that Deirdre Mahlan, president of Diageo North America, will retire on June 30, 2020.

Deirdre has had a long career in the industry, first at Seagram before moving on to Diageo in 2001, where she joined the North America finance team, rising to become Chief Financial Officer of Diageo in 2010, and then taking on the role of President Diageo North America in 2015.

“I am proud and privileged to have enjoyed a long and exciting career in Diageo and its predecessor companies,” says Mahlan. “I have particularly enjoyed my last five years leading the North America business, seeing it grow and prosper, working with my colleagues, in partnership with our key distributors who support and drive our business in this market. It has been an honor to work alongside Ivan and all my colleagues in Diageo over these past 19 years.”


Deirdre’s successor is Debra Crew, who will take up the role of President Diageo North America effective from July 1, 2020. Crew has served as a non-executive director on the Diageo board since April 2019, and is stepping down from her non-executive director position, and from the audit, nomination and remuneration committees of the board, with immediate effect.

Crew is the former president and CEO of Reynolds American, Inc., having previously served as president and chief operating officer and president and chief commercial officer of RJ Reynolds. Before joining Reynolds, Crew 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, Crew held positions, from 1997 to 2010, with Kraft Foods, Nestlé S.A., and Mars, Inc. Crew is a graduate of the University of Denver, earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, and previously served as an officer in the United States Army.

“I am excited to join the Diageo executive team. I have thoroughly enjoyed my year as a non-executive director of Diageo,” says Crew. “This is a unique opportunity to work for a purpose led company with iconic consumer brands, unparalleled global reach and exciting growth prospects. I am looking forward to leading the Diageo North America team to help drive the achievement of our ambition.” 


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