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Diageo CEO To Step Down

Published on May 6 2013 12:40 PM in General Industry

Diageo CEO To Step Down

Paul Walsh is to step down from his role as chief executive officer at Diageo after 13 years at the helm of the company, with company veteran Ivan Menezes, currently chief operating officer, set to take his place on 1 July 2013. While Walsh will step down from the board at the annual meeting in September, he is expected to stay on until June of 2014 to help ease the transition. Walsh, who has been CEO at Diageo, owner of Baileys and Guinness, since September 2000 commented on Tuesday: "Diageo is one of the world's leading businesses, a position it has earned through the efforts of every one of its talented people, who are passionate about our brands, our contribution to society and our performance. The pivotal role which Ivan has played in building this position for the business demonstrates that he is the right person to lead Diageo on the next stage of its journey." A Diageo spokeswoman said Walsh had not yet decided what his next move would be. Mr Walsh was appointed chief operating officer for Diageo for eight months in 2000, serving in the role from January to August, before succeeding John McGrath as chief executive later that year. As part of his refocusing of the group on premium drinks, he sold off the groups food interests, including Pillsbury and a holding on Burger King.Commenting on the transfer of Walsh's role to Menezes, Diageo Chairman Franz Humer said: "The Board is immensely grateful for his ambitious and thoughtful stewardship of the business and its people. The transition process which has been put in place enables Paul to contribute his knowledge and experience during Ivan's first year as chief executive."He continued, "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". Ivan Menezes headed up Diageo's key North America division for eight years before his appointment as chief operating officer for the drinks giant last year.

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