The world is mourning the loss of Sir Ivan Menezes, the CEO of Diageo, who passed away at the age of 63. The news was announced by the company on Friday, June 4, stating that Menezes had died after a brief illness.
Menezes had been with Diageo for over 20 years, working his way up from finance director to become CEO in 2013. Under his leadership, the company, which is best known for its flagship brand Guinness, diversified its portfolio to include a wide range of premium spirits and wines.
Diageo Chairman Javier Ferran paid tribute to Menezes, praising his leadership and vision. “Ivan made a significant and lasting contribution to Diageo,” Ferran said in a statement. “He was a great friend and colleague, and he will be sorely missed by us all.”
The news of Menezes’ death has been met with sadness and shock across the business world. Financial Times reports that Diageo’s shares fell by 1.6% following the announcement, while industry analysts reflect on Menezes’ legacy and the challenges facing the company in his absence.
In an interview with Reuters, analyst Mirabaud called Menezes a “great CEO” and noted that his death comes at a time of significant change for Diageo. “They’re trying to reposition themselves and to move more into the premium end of the market,” Mirabaud said.
The company said that Menezes will be succeeded by its Chief Financial Officer, Kathryn Mikells, on July 1, 2021. Meanwhile, the industry continues to mourn the loss of a respected leader and pioneer in the world of drinks.