Indian-origin Ivan Menezes named Diageo CEO

London, May 7 (IANS) British liquor giant Diageo has appointed Indian-origin Ivan Menezes as its next chief executive officer.

The maker of Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker Scotch, in a statement Tuesday said Menezes would take over as CEO with effect from July 1 this year.

Outgoing CEO Paul Walsh will step down from the company’s board in the annual general meeting in September and will retire from the company June 30, 2014.

“We are delighted to have a leader of Ivan’s talents and global experience to succeed Paul,” Diageo chairman Franz B. Humer said in the statement.

“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,” he added, while expressing gratitude to Walsh for the services he rendered to the company.

An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Menezes was appointed chief operating officer of Diageo in March 2012 and then made a director in July 2012.

He had earlier served in various positions in companies like Nestle, Booz-Allen & Hamilton and Whirlpool.

The 53-year-old now joins the likes of Indra Nooyi, Ajay Banga and Rakesh Kapoor as Indian-origin chief executives of Fortune 500 companies.

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