© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes addresses guests at the annual Reuters IMPACT Summit in London, Britain October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska
(Reuters) – Diageo (LON:) on Tuesday named chief operating officer Debra Crew as CEO to replace longtime retired boss Ivan Menezes, becoming one of the few women to lead a 100-listed company.
The world’s largest spirits company, which makes Tanqueray gin and Don Julio tequila, said Crew will take up their new role and also join the board on July 1.
Crew, an industry veteran who turned COO last year, had served as president of Diageo North America and Global Supply since 2020.
“Crew was the CEO’s most likely successor, so no surprises there,” said Tineke Frikkee, fund manager at investor Diageo Waverton Asset Management. “She is very experienced in Diageo’s largest market, the United States.”
“The timing of the succession is always difficult to predict but with 63-year-old Ivan Menezes it was imminent. I expect Diageo’s strategy to remain unchanged.”
Crew was previously CEO of tobacco company Reynolds American (NYSE:), where she previously served as COO.
Prior to that, the former US military intelligence officer held positions at Pepsico (NASDAQ:), Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:), Nestlé and Mars.
Menezes joined Diageo after the merger of Guinness plc and Grand Metropolitan plc in 1997 and has held several senior positions in the company.