CEO Diageo, Ivan Menezes Died Just Before Retirement

CEO Diageo, Ivan Menezes Died Just Before Retirement

The CEO Diageo, Ivan Menezes  has served as chief executive officer since July 2013. He was due to retire at the end of this month on 30 June, with chief operating officer Debra Crew appointed to succeed him as CEO.


He was a citizen of the United Kingdom, the United States, and of India. In a career spanning more than 25 years at the company, he held many senior positions after joining Diageo at its founding in 1997. He created the now-iconic ‘Keep Walking’ campaign for Johnnie Walker while serving as global marketing director in the late 1980s. He was born in Pune, India, on July 10, 1959.



Commenting on his passing away, Chairman Diageo,  Javier Ferrán commented on his passing, “This is an incredibly sad day. Ivan was undoubtedly one of the finest leaders of his generation.,


“Ivan was there at the creation of Diageo and over 25 years, shaped Diageo to become one of the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer companies. I saw first-hand his steadfast commitment to our people and to creating a culture that enabled everyone to thrive. He invested his time and energy in people at every level of the company and saw potential that others may have overlooked. This is one of many reasons why he was beloved by our employees, past and present.



“Ivan’s energy and his commitment to diversity created a truly inclusive business and enabled Diageo to have a positive impact on the communities we serve. His passion for our brands was second-to-none and in his heart, he remained the Johnnie Walker marketer from his early days. The desire to build the world’s best brands never left him.


“We are truly privileged to have had the opportunity to work alongside such a thoughtful and passionate colleague and friend – a true gentleman. He has built an extraordinary legacy. Ivan leaves behind many friends and a beloved family, and our thoughts are particularly with his wife, Shibani and his two children, Nikhil and Rohini. On behalf of the board, executive committee and all our employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to them.”



In one of his statement, Diageo said his decade as CEO, Menezes oversaw an outstanding period of change, growth and high performance. Having steered Diageo through the Covid-19 pandemic, he delivered a company with net sales value 36% larger than in 2019.


Menezes has been hailed as an inspiring advocate for minorities of color and women in business.


He said “In 2008 there were no women on Diageo’s executive committee, today over half are women, including his successor as CEO, the CFO and the presidents of Diageo’s largest markets – North America, Europe and India, and almost half of the executive committee are ethnically diverse. Over 40% of Diageo’s senior leadership positions globally are held by women, while 37% are ethnically diverse, well on the way to his target to achieve gender parity in senior leadership and 45% of our leadership to be ethnically diverse by 2025,”