Drinks hire

Ex-civil service chief Sir John Manzoni to chair Diageo

New chair: Sir John Manzoni

A former head of the UK Civil Service, Sir John Manzoni, will become the next chair of drinks giant Diageo, adding the role to his chairmanship of Perth-based energy company SSE.

He is a non-executive director at the Johnnie Walker and Guinness owner and will take up his new role next February when current chair Javier Ferrán retires from the board.

Sir John joined the Diageo board in October 2020, having been chief executive of the UK Civil Service from 2014 to 2020.

He is also a non-executive director of engineering and technology business KBR. He was previously a non-executive director of the multinational drinks company SAB Miller from 2004 to 2015.  Earlier in his career he served as president and chief executive of Talisman Energy, and held a number of senior executive roles at BP. 

He said: “It will be a privilege to take on this role and to succeed Javier, whose leadership and acumen have been so valuable to our business and to board colleagues.

“Since joining the board, I have been continually impressed by the growth potential of the organisation, the quality of our brands, and the dedication and high standards of Diageo colleagues around the world. Diageo has an unrivalled portfolio, a global footprint and world-leading capabilities, and I look forward to supporting the executive team to ensure that we deliver on our potential.”

Debra Crew, chief executive, said: “Javier has been an invaluable source of strategic counsel and advice for me and our wider leadership team, and I want to thank him personally for the role he has played in stewarding the business so successfully.

“With a strong focus on execution, we will continue to invest behind our iconic brands to create value for shareholders and maintain our position as an industry leader in total beverage alcohol, an attractive sector with a long runway for growth. I look forward to working with John as Chair and the rest of the Board to achieve those ambitions.”

Sir John will also succeed Mr Ferrán as chair of the nomination committee in February 2025.

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