LONDON: Indian-born Ivan Menezes is the new CEO of Diageo which is the world’s biggest drinks brand that makes Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Menezes is an economics graduate from Delhi’s famous St. Stephen’s College. He also did his PG Diploma from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. He started his career with Nestle India in 1981.
He joins an elite club of Indian-born CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.The other in this elite club are Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga and Reckitt Benckiser CEO Rakesh Kapoor.
Fifty-three-year-old Menezes, who is currently the COO of the company, will take over from Paul Walsh from July 1.
“We are delighted to have a leader of Ivan’s talents and global experience to succeed Paul. The handover is being made at a time when the business is strong and Ivan takes on the role of CEO at an exciting stage of the company’s global development. The Board is confident that Ivan will inspire our organisation and Diageo will continue to achieve our medium-term performance objectives,’’ said Dr Franz B. Humer, Chairman of Diageo, in a statement.
Prior to his appointment as COO, Ivan Menezes was President and CEO of Diageo North America for eight years. During this period he was also made Chairman, Asia Pacific from October 2008 and Chairman, Latin America & the Caribbean from July 2011.
Ivan joined Diageo in 1997 and held various senior management positions with Guinness and then Diageo until 2004 when he was appointed President of Diageo Venture Markets. Diageo Venture Markets is a division that had direct responsibility for approximately 123 countries, representing nearly 70% of the world’s population.
Prior to his career with Diageo, Ivan worked across a variety of sales, marketing and strategy roles for Whirlpool in Europe, Booz Allen & Hamilton in North America, and Nestlé in Asia.
Ivan holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, a post- graduate degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and a BA Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.
He also serves as a non-executive director of Coach, Inc., in the United States. Ivan was born in July 1959 and is married with two children.
Diageo has a presence in over 180 countries.