The list of Indians heading multinational companies has a new entry — Ivan Menezes. Menezes is set to take charge as chief executive officer of Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, from July 1. He would replace Paul Walsh, who would retire from the company on June 30, 2014. Walsh would also step down from the company’s board at the company’s annual general meeting in September this year. In his last year at the company, Walsh would focus on transitioning critical partner and external relationships to Menezes. These include relationships essential to recent acquisitions. Menezes had played a vital role in Diageo’s $2.1-billion deal with United Spirits. Menezes, 54, has been the company’s chief operating officer since March 2012. He is also a member of the executive committee and Diageo’s board of directors. Earlier, Menezes was president and chief executive of Diageo North America for eight years. In October 2008, he was also appointed chairman, Asia-Pacific and in July 2011, he also took charge as chairman, Latin America & the Caribbean. Franz B Humer, chairman of Diageo, said, “Paul is an outstanding chief executive. He has served our business, its shareholders, employees and partners with enormous imagination and dedication over the past 13 years. I know he is justly proud of Diageo and its people.
He leaves a great legacy for his successor. The board is immensely grateful for his ambitious and thoughtful stewardship of the business and its people. The transition process that has been put in place enables Paul to contribute his knowledge and experience during Ivan’s first year as chief executive. 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 chief executive at an exciting stage of the company’s global development. The board is confident Ivan would inspire our organisation and Diageo would continue to achieve our medium-term performance objectives.” In the recent past, Menezes has pushed the company’s expansion into emerging markets, including India. Currently, 42 per cent of the company’s global sales are accounted for by emerging markets. The company plans to raise this figure to 50 per cent by 2015. In addition to its proposed acquisition of United Spirits in India, Diageo has made selective acquisitions in Vietnam, Turkey, Brazil, Ethiopia and China. Menezes joined Diageo in 1997. He held various senior management positions with Guinness, and then Diageo. In 2004, he was appointed president of Diageo Venture Markets, which was directly responsible for 123 countries. Before joining Diageo, Menezes had worked across a variety of sales, marketing and strategy roles for Whirlpool in Europe, Booz Allen & Hamilton in North America and Nestlé in Asia. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, a post-graduate degree from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Menezes is also non-executive director of US luxury leather goods company Coach Inc.
- Ivan Menezes, 54, has been the COO of Diageo Plc since March 2012
- Joined Diageo in 1997
- Worked with Whirlpool in Europe, Booz Allen & Hamilton in North America, and Nestlé in Asia
- Holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, a post-graduate degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and a BA Economics from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University
- Played a key role in the $2.1-billion transaction with United Spirits