March 29, 2023
Diageo has appointed Chief Operating Officer Debra Crew as CEO, replacing long-time CEO Ivan Menezes who is retiring.
The world's largest spirits company, which makes Johnnie Walker whisky, Tanqueray gin and Don Julio tequila, said Crew would take up her new role on July 1.
Prior to being appointed COO in October 2022, Crew served as president, Diageo North America and Global Supply, leading Diageo’s largest market to 14% organic net sales growth in fiscal 2022, following on from 20% organic net sales growth in the prior year. Debra 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, where she delivered strong performance growth before the company’s acquisition, having previously served as president and CEO, and president and chief commercial officer.
Prior to that, Crew spent five years at PepsiCo as the president, North America Nutrition; President, PepsiCo Americas Beverages; and President, Western Europe Region. Prior to PepsiCo, Debra held positions with Kraft Foods, Nestlé S.A., and Mars.
She graduated from 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. Crew currently serves on the board of Stanley Black & Decker, having previously served on the boards of Newell Brands and Mondēlez International.
“I am delighted to be appointed chief executive officer of Diageo," said 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. It is an incredible privilege to be leading Diageo through the next phase of its development.”
Menezes joined Diageo through the merger of Guinness plc and Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997 and has held various senior positions in the business including COO; 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, overseeing an outstanding period of change, growth and high performance.
With Menezes at the helm, Diageo has become a leader in sustainability as one of the top 1% of companies globally to achieve a “Double A” rating for Water Security and Climate Change from CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project).
With Crew’s appointment as chief executive officer, women will make up more than 50% of Diageo’s Executive Committee upon her new position appointment.
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