British spirits major Diageo has named Ivan Menezes, who is of Indian origin, as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from July 1, 2013. Mr Menezes is currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Diageo and is largely credited with having convinced Vijay Mallya to sell a majority stake in United Spirits Ltd. (USL) to Diageo in a deal valued at $2 billion (Rs. 11,166.5 crore).

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad, Mr. Menezes was appointed COO in March 2012 and then made a director in July of the same year .

He has been with Diageo for 13 years and will be groomed by current CEO Paul Walsh. Mr. Walsh will step down from the Board at the Annual General Meeting in September and will retire from the company on June 30, 2014.

“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 CEO 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,” Franz B. Humer, Chairman of Diageo said in a statement.

Mr. Menezes, 53, started his career with Nestle India in 1981, and has served in various positions in companies like Booz-Allen & Hamilton and Whirlpool.

He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College, a post graduate diploma from IIM-Ahmedabad and an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

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