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Ex-Bacardi chief to replace Diageo chairman

Diageo has named former Bacardi CEO Javier Ferrán successor to the group’s chairman, Franz Humer, who will retire on 1 January 2017.

Javier Ferrán will succeed Franz Humer as chairman of Diageo next year

Ferrán has acted as founding partner at Lion Capital since 2005 and previously spent more than 10 years at Bacardi, latterly serving as president and CEO.

He is also currently non-executive director at SAB Miller, Associated British Foods and Desigual, and a member of the advisory board of Agrolimen and the ESADE Business School.  Ferrán will not seek re-election to the board of SAB Miller at the firm’s AGM on 21 July 2016.

The businessman will join Diageo as a non-executive director from 22 July 2016 and will be appointed chairman on 1 January 2017 following the retirement of Humer.

Diageo confirmed that a search was underway to replace Dr Humer as chairman in April this year, following initial speculation in December 2015.

Humer has been chairman of Diageo since 2008 and has sat on the Johnnie Walker maker’s non-executive board since 2005. He previously ran healthcare company La Roche. In Diageo’s annual report, it was explained that Humer’s tenure as chairman will come to an end in June 2016.

“I am very pleased to welcome Javier to the Diageo board. He brings a wealth of experience to the role of chairman,” said Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo.

“On behalf of everyone at Diageo I want to thank Franz for the role he has played in making Diageo the strong business it is today. The appointment of someone of Javier’s ability as Franz’s successor is a tribute to all that Franz has contributed to Diageo.

“Diageo is executing a clear strategy with discipline in order to deliver accelerated top line growth, greater productivity and continued strong cash flow. I look forward to working with Javier as we build Diageo’s leadership position and achieve our ambition.”

Ferrán added: “It will be a privilege to chair the Diageo board. The company is in a strong position with leading brands, geographic reach and financial strength.

“It now has a consumer facing culture and a rigorous approach to the decisions it makes. As chairman it will be my role to work with the strong executive team, led by Ivan, to ensure that the company delivers its potential.”

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