Business News

The Diageo CEO from India, Ivan Menezes, has passed away.

Ivan Manuel Menezes, the India-born CEO of the world’s biggest spirits company Diageo, died on Wednesday, days after the firm said he was hospitalised for treatment.

Menezes, 64, who was to retire at the end of this month, was admitted to hospital for treatment of conditions, including a stomach ulcer, sources in know of the matter said.

The reason for his death in London was not immediately known.

Diageo had on Monday announced that CEO-designate Debra Crew will assume the top role on an interim basis immediately as Menezes undergoes medical treatment.

“Over the weekend, we learned that Ivan’s recovery suffered a significant setback due to complications, which followed emergency surgery on the ulcer,” Diageo had said in a statement.

Pune-born Menezes, whose father Manuel Menezes was the chairman of Indian Railway Board, was educated at the prestigious St Stephen’s College in Delhi and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Menezes joined Diageo in 1997 after its formation through the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan. He rose quickly in the ranks to become an executive director in July 2012 and chief executive officer in July 2013. He was knighted in 2023.

His brother Victor Menezes is the former chairman and CEO of Citibank.

Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Tanqueray gin and Don Julio tequila, had on March 28 announced the appointment of Crew to replace Menezes.

“During Ivan’s tenure, Diageo has made great strides towards its ambition to become one of the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world.

“Diageo has grown significantly during this period, now selling over 200 brands in more than 180 markets and is today, the number one company by net sales value in Scotch whisky, vodka, gin, rum, Canadian whisky, liqueurs, and also tequila, a category in which only eight years ago the company had no substantive position,” the company had said in the March 28 announcement.



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