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Monday 08 July, 2024
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Ivan Menezes Dead, Cause of Death

BY Anas Shah Jun 07, 2023. 08:36 pm UPDATED: Jun 07, 2023. 08:36 pm

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Debra Crew was named as Diageo’s acting CEO earlier this week as Menezes recovered from an urgent stomach ulcer operation.

Prior to her appointment as CEO on July 1st, Crew assumed the position of temporary CEO with immediate effect. After serving as CEO for 10 years, Menezes intended to leave the company on June 31, 2023.

Menezes passed away with his loved ones by his side, according to a statement from Diageo.

Chairman of Diageo Javier Ferrán described Menezes as “one of the finest leaders of his generation” and said it was a “incredibly sad day.”

“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,” Ferrán said.

“I saw first-hand his steadfast commitment to our people and to creating a culture than 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.”

Menezes is one of Britain’s longest-serving FTSE top executives, according to Diageo. Over the course of his 25-year tenure at Diageo, he had a range of jobs and joined the business when it was founded in 1997 as the result of a merger.

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In 1998, while still employed there, he worked as worldwide marketing director for UDV and contributed to the creation of Johnnie Walker’s well-known Keep Walking advertising campaign.

Senior posts followed, including that of president of the company’s North American division and chairman of Diageo’s Asia Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean regions.

Menezes led Diageo through the Covid-19 epidemic and produced net sales that were 36% higher than in 2019, according to the business.

Menezes promoted diversity within the organization as well. Over 40% of Diageo’s senior leadership roles are held by women globally, and 37% of those roles are held by people of different ethnic backgrounds.

According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis data, Diageo credited Menezes for the company’s growth during his tenure. The company now sells more than 200 brands in more than 180 markets and holds the top spot by net sales value in Scotch whisky, vodka, gin, rum, Canadian whisky, liqueurs, and Tequila.

Smirnoff vodka, Johnnie Walker, Gordon’s gin, Baileys liqueur, and Casamigos Tequila are among the spirits brands owned by the firm.

Menezes was given a knighthood in January of this year in the King’s 2023 New Year Honours List for his contributions to business and equality.

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