Diageo has named a new Chief Executive Officer following the announced retirement of CEO Ivan Menezes.
Menezes has decided to retire from his top post and depart from the Diageo Board on June 30, 2023, following ten years leading the company. His replacement will be Debra Crew, currently Chief Operating Officer. She will be appointed CEO and join the Diageo Board, effective July 1 2023.
“It has been an enormous honor leading Diageo over the past decade,” Menezes says. “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,” he adds. “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.”
Menezes joined Diageo through the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997, and has held a number of senior positions in the business. These include Chief Operating Officer; President, Diageo North America; Chairman, Diageo Asia Pacific; and Chairman, Diageo Latin America and Caribbean. He has been an Executive Director of Diageo since July 2012, and has served as CEO since July 2013.
During his tenure, Diageo has grown, now selling more than 200 brands in more than 180 markets.
Led by Menezes, Diageo has developed a leadership position in sustainability, achieving a “Double A” rating for Water Security and Climate Change from CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), as well as a particularly strong stance on inclusion and diversity. With Crew’s appointment as CEO, women will make up more than 50% of Diageo’s Executive Committee.
In January 2023, Menezes was awarded a Knighthood for services to Business and to Equality in His Majesty The King’s 2023 New Year Honours List.
“The Board is enormously grateful for Ivan’s contribution over the past decade,” says Javier Ferrán, Chairman, Diageo. “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.”
“The Board has diligently planned for Ivan’s successor, and we are delighted to have appointed a leader of Debra’s caliber to the role,” Ferrán adds. “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.”
Prior to being appointed Chief Operating Officer in October 2022, Crew was President. 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 is the former President and CEO of Reynolds American. Prior to that, Debra spent five years at PepsiCo, where she served as President, North America Nutrition; President, PepsiCo Americas Beverages; and President, Western Europe Region. Before PepsiCo, Debra held positions with Kraft Foods, Nestlé S.A. and Mars, Inc.
She is a graduate of the University of Denver, earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and previously served as an officer in the United States Army. She currently serves on the board of Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., having previously served on the boards of Newell Brands and Mondēlez International.
“I am delighted to be appointed Chief Executive Officer of Diageo,” says Crew. “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,” she adds. “It is an incredible privilege to be leading Diageo through the next phase of its development.”