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Diageo appoints interim CEO as Menezes has surgery

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has appointed Debra Crew as interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) while Sir Ivan Menezes recovers from emergency surgery.

Debra Crew will take over as Diageo CEO

Over the weekend (3-4 June), the firm learned that following treatment for a medical condition, Menezes’ recovery suffered a ‘significant setback due to complications’, which led to emergency surgery on a stomach ulcer.

As a result of these developments, the board of directors has appointed Crew as interim CEO with immediate effect, ahead of her appointment as CEO and joining the board as an executive director on 1 July.

Menezes will retire from the board on 30 June.

A statement on the Diageo website said: “Our thoughts are with our much-loved colleague, Ivan, and his family.”

Menezes joined Diageo in 1997 following the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan, and has since held roles including chief operating officer; president, Diageo North America; chairman, Diageo Asia Pacific; and chairman, Diageo Latin America and Caribbean.

He had led the company as CEO for 10 years.

In January this year, Menezes received a knighthood for services to business and equality in the King’s 2023 New Year Honours List.

Crew has been president, Diageo North America and global supply since July 2020, and is said to have led Diageo’s largest market to 14% organic net sales growth in fiscal 2022, following on from 20% organic net sales growth in the year prior.

She originally joined the Diageo board as a non-executive director in April 2019.

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