Diageo president North America Deirdre Mahlan to retire

25th March, 2020 by Melita Kiely

Deirdre Mahlan, Diageo president North America, will retire at the end of June and will be succeeded by Debra Crew.

Deirdre-Mahlan

Diageo’s president North America, Deirdre Mahlan, will retire at the end of June

Mahlan joined the Johnnie Walker owner in 2001 after working at Seagram. She joined as part of the North America finance team before progressing to the role of chief financial officer of Diageo in 2010.

In 2015, she was promoted to the position of president Diageo North America. Mahlan will retire on 30 June.

Mahlan said: “I am proud and privileged to have enjoyed a long and exciting career in Diageo and its predecessor companies.

“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 honour to work alongside Ivan [Menezes, CEO] and all my colleagues in Diageo over these past 19 years.”

Crew, who will take up the role of president Diageo North America from 1 July, has been a non-executive member of the Diageo board since April 2019. She will step down from this position, and from the audit, nomination and remuneration committees of the board, with immediate effect.

Crew previously worked as president and CEO of American tobacco firm Reynolds America, and before that worked as president and chief operating officer and president and chief commercial officer of tobacco company RJ Reynolds.

Before joining Reynolds America, Crew worked for Pepsi Co for five years, working as president, North America nutrition; president, Pepsi Co Americas Beverage; and president, Western Europe region.

Ivan Menezes, chief executive, Diageo, said: “Diageo North America is a strong business that has been very ably led by Deirdre since 2015. While we are sad to be losing Deirdre, I know that she leaves a great legacy in the North America business and across Diageo.

“I am very grateful for her exceptional contribution over many years at Diageo and wish her the very best for her retirement.

“I am delighted that Debra has agreed to join us in an executive position to lead the next stage of growth in North America.

“Debra’s extensive experience in consumer businesses will serve Diageo and North America well as we continue to progress on our ambition to become one of the most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world.”

The news comes a day after Diageo announced its chief marketing officer Syl Saller will step down after 20 years with the firm.

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