Menezes will take the reins of the Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff owner in the summer (1 July). He emerged the frontrunner to replace Walsh after being given responsibility for all of Diageo’s global markets as its chief operating officer in March 2012.
As chief operating officer, Menezes had oversight of all commercial operations at the company including its marketing function.
He headed the company’s North American division for eight years. He has also held senior marketing roles at Whirlpool Corporation and Nestle.
Walsh, who has been at the helm since 2000, will remain with the company over the next year to focus on moving what the company says are “critical partner relationships” to Menezes.
Dr Franz B. Humer, chairman of Diageo says: “We are delighted to have a leader of Ivan’s talents and global experience to succeed Paul. The handover is being made at a time when the business is strong and Ivan takes on the role of chief executive at an exciting stage of the company’s global development. The board is confident that Ivan will inspire our organisation and Diageo will continue to achieve our medium-term performance objectives.”
The drinks maker is looking to boost sales by an average of 6 per cent annually. It posted a 5 per cent jump in revenue for nine months to 31 March as sales in the US and Asia offset a 4 per cent drop in western Europe, where austerity measures are squeezing consumer spending.