14 April 2023

Diageo appoints Debra Crew as its first female CEO

United Kingdom | The world’s major drinks group, Diageo, has appointed its Chief Operating Officer, Debra Crew, 52, as its new CEO, making her the 10th woman to lead one of the UK’s top 100 listed companies.

Diageo, which makes well-known brands, including Johnnie Walker whisky, Guinness stout and Baileys liqueur, announced on 28 March that Sir Ivan Menezes, 63, would step down on 30 June after ten years at the helm. Its board decided to promote Ms Crew from COO to the top job, effective from 1 July.

Career in consumer industries

In a statement, Diageo’s Chairman, Javier Ferrán, said the board had been “diligently planning” Mr Menezes’ successor, adding that Ms Crew brings “deep consumer expertise” to her new position.


Diageo’s CEO Sir Ivan Menezes will be succeeded by Debra Crew on 1 July (Photo: courtesy of Diageo)


Before being appointed COO in October 2022, Ms Crew ran Diageo’s business in North America, its largest market. She joined the company in 2019, having previously headed the tobacco firm Reynolds American until it was acquired by BAT. Prior to that, she spent five years at PepsiCo and also worked at Kraft Foods, Nestlé, and Mars.

Diageo’s news came after the firm reported a 15 percent rise in operating profits to GBP 3.2 billion (USD 3.95 billion) in the six months to the end of December 2022.

The group employs 28,000 people globally and sells more than 200 brands in some 180 markets.

Brauwelt International Newsletter

Newsletter archive and information

Mandatory field