Ex-US Army captain to take over Diageo

Ex-US Army Captain Takes Over Diageo: Beverage Giant Hires First Female Boss, Sir Ivan Menezes Resigns

Diageo has appointed its first female boss after Sir Ivan Menezes ended his ten-year tenure.

Former US Army Captain Debra Crew will take over as CEO of the drinks giant in July – bringing the number of female chefs in the FTSE 100 to ten.

She joins Emma Walmsley at GSK, Liv Garfield at Severn Trent and Alison Rose at Natwest in the exclusive club.

Cheers: Debra Crew (pictured) will take over as CEO of drinks giant Diageo in July, bringing the total number of female chefs in the FTSE 100 to ten

Cheers: Debra Crew (pictured) will take over as CEO of drinks giant Diageo in July, bringing the total number of female chefs in the FTSE 100 to ten

The 52-year-old will lead a company whose brands include Guinness, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker and which has annual sales of over £15 billion.

Her appointment came as Menezes announced plans to retire after 26 years with the company, including ten at the top level.

Menezes has been praised for expanding Diageo’s portfolio and for his steady hand during the pandemic.

Since he became boss in 2013, the company’s value has increased by around £30bn as a result of a number of acquisitions, particularly of premium brands. It is now worth £80 billion.

The 63-year-old has also spurred growth in emerging markets like Greater China and India, with Diageo selling over 200 beverage brands in 180 markets.

And Diageo shares are up more than 85 percent over that period, while shareholder returns have comfortably outperformed the broader index.

One of the longest-serving bosses in the game, he was paid a whopping £7.9million in 2022, including a base salary of £1.3million.

Last year’s package included a £133,000 benefits scheme that gave him a ‘product allowance’ to sample the company’s drinks, which include popular brands such as Baileys and Tanqueray Gin.

During his time as CEO, Menezes has amassed a combined salary of £55.7million – making him one of the highest-paid bosses on the London Stock Exchange.


Diageo will pay Crew a similar salary package to her male predecessor, taking home an annual base salary of £1.4million while she runs one of the UK’s largest public companies.

Crew began her career as a military intelligence officer in the US Army before working at consumer giants such as Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Nestlé and Mars.

She briefly ran the cigarette company Reynolds American ahead of its acquisition by British American Tobacco and later joined Diageo in 2019 as a non-executive director.

A year later, she took over as head of Diageo’s North American business, its largest market.

Born in Hawaii, she relocated to London when she was appointed Diageo’s Chief Operating Officer in October 2022.

In its latest half-year results, Diageo said net sales rose 18.4 percent to £9.4 billion, beating analysts’ forecasts, thanks to stronger demand for premium spirits and price increases and productivity savings offsetting cost inflation .

However, the company warned of a slowdown in growth in its critical US market.

Derren Nathan, head of equity research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said Menezes was a “difficult move” especially as growth is likely to slow in the near term as consumers feel the pinch.

Meanwhile, Denise Wilson, chief executive of FTSE Women’s Leaders, said Crew’s appointment was “testament to the growing momentum in the quest to achieve gender diversity at the top”.


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-11911881/Ex-Army-captain-Diageo.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Ex-US Army captain to take over Diageo

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