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Business News/ Companies / People/  Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes no more: Condolences pour in

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes no more: Condolences pour in

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes, set to retire at the end of June, has passed away. The company is a renowned producer of Johnnie Walker whisky.

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint (Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint)Premium
Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint (Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint)

Ivan Menezes, the Chief Executive Officer of Diageo, has passed away. The reason for his death in London was not immediately known.

Abhishek Singhvi, Member of Rajya Sabha, was one of the first people to convey condolences on Twitter.

Singhvi said he was shocked and numbed to hear about the death of Menezes, who used to be his classmate at St. Columba's School and St. Stephen's College. He calls the Diageo CEO a “more gentle laid back" and “easy going soul" that is difficult to find. Singhvi used to joke with Menezes about how, despite having such a gentle nature, he could head a multinational company like Diageo.

Another Twitter user wrote, “Having worked with him i feel the pain. We are all shocked. May his soul rest in peace."

“Just learnt that Ivan Menezes has passed away...a gentle, brilliant man who will be deeply missed," came from another user.

“A superb CEO who not only did a stellar job running the business but who was also forward thinking and very much in tune with the times. Sincere condolences to his family and colleagues," wrote one user on Twitter.

Also Read: Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes’s pay cut by £1.1 million as performance lags

Long-time boss Menezes, who was set to retire at the end of June, is in hospital receiving treatment for conditions including a stomach ulcer, the company said in a statement.

"Over the weekend, we learned that Ivan's recovery suffered a significant setback due to complications, which followed emergency surgery on the ulcer," Reuters quoted Diageo as saying.

Having joined Diageo in 1997 following its merger with Guinness and Grand Metropolitan, Menezes played a pivotal role in driving substantial sales growth and successfully navigating the company through various brand acquisitions, all while overseeing a significant sustainability transformation.

"Out of respect for Ivan and his family's privacy, we will not be commenting further at this time," Diageo said.

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.

Also Read: Diageo’s Indian-origin CEO to get up to `105 crore pay package

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 renowned producer of Johnnie Walker whisky, Tanqueray gin and Don Julio tequila, announced on March 28 that it had appointed Debra Crew as a replacement for Menezes. 

Under Ivan's leadership, Diageo has made significant progress in its pursuit of becoming one of the world's top-performing and most esteemed consumer products companies, according to PTI.

"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.

(With agency inputs)

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 07 Jun 2023, 12:18 PM IST
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