Ivan Menezes, who was well admired for his dedication to diversity and was one of the most prominent global beverage sector leaders during the past three decades, has passed away after a brief illness. He was 63.
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Diageo chief executive Sir Ivan Menezes dies just weeks before retirement https://t.co/Qimi59NFnX
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 7, 2023
Menezes led Diageo, the parent company of well-known alcoholic beverage brands like Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka, and Guinness, until just last week. Diageo released a statement on Wednesday confirming Menezes’ de@th, just two days after he announced his resignation due to complications after ulcer surgery.
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After leading the company for 10 years, which has a market value of 75 billion pounds ($93 billion) on the London Stock Exchange, Menezes had planned to stand down as CEO at the end of the month. About 10% of all food and drink exported from the United Kingdom is produced by Diageo.
Ivan “was without a doubt one of the finest leaders of his generation,” stated chairman Javier Ferran. Over the course of 25 years, “Ivan was there at the creation of Diageo and shaped Diageo into one of the best-performing, most trusted and respected consumer companies in the world.”
In 1959, Menezes was born in the Indian city of Pune. He was a citizen of three countries: the United Kingdom, the United States, and his country of birth’s overseas territory. In January, he was knighted for his contributions to business and equality on King Charles III’s inaugural New Year’s honours list.
Diageo has made considerable achievements in diversifying its leadership under his watch, with the company claiming that more than 40% of its senior leadership roles worldwide are occupied by women and 37% by people of different ethnic backgrounds.
Mark Kent, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, a lobby group that Menezes also chaired, remembered Menezes as “a warm and caring human being” in addition to “a consummate professional” and “one of the most successful business leaders of his generation.” Some will miss Menezes dearly, including his wife Shibani and their children Nikhil and Rohini.
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