LONDON, Feb 29 – Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, promoted Ivan Menezes to the new role of chief operating officer today, in a move that could see him eventually take over from chief executive Paul Walsh.
Menezes, president of Diageo’s biggest region, North America, will take up his new role on March 1, in which he will lead Diageo’s operating business globally.
He will be replaced in his current role by the group’s United States head Larry Schwartz.
The move mirrors Walsh’s own move to the top of Diageo when he was appointed chief operating officer at the start of 2000 and by September that year had taken over as chief executive.
Menezes’s current role includes being chairman of Asia Pacific and Latin America & Caribbean, meaning he will effectively add responsibilities for Europe and Africa to cover the whole world.
Diageo shares were down 1.3 per cent in early trading in a flat blue-chip market. – Reuters