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Your cut-out-and-keep guide to top employers. 59.Diageo

In a nutshell:​ If you fancy a tipple, try Diageo for size. The world's biggest producer of alcoholic drinks with sales of £9bn, Diageo keeps bars and shelves stocked in 200 countries with beers, wines and spirits

History:​ The story started in 1759 when Arthur Guinness leased a brewery in Dublin. But the real action kicked off in the 1970s when the business went on an unprecedented spending spree, hoovering up 200 companies in a decade. After disappointing results, however, it was back to basics in the 1980s, when it sold a raft of non-core businesses and focused on expanding its drinks cabinet.

This culminated in the multi-billion pound merger with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to create a food and beverage power house boasting brands from Pillsbury and Burger King to Johnnie Walker. Parts of the Seagram drinks empire, the Chalone wine group and Ursus vodka were then bolted on for good measure, while Pillsbury and Burger King were put up for sale in a bid to focus on the hard stuff

Brands you'd recognise:​ Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Archers, Baileys, Gordon's

The strategy:​ Publicly, head honcho Paul Walsh has scoffed at rumours that he is planning a last minute approach to Allied Domecq, and claimed that rival bidders are paying over the odds. Privately however, he is rumoured to be eyeing up some of Allied's wines and Tia Maria liqueur in return for providing extra firepower to boost one of the bids already on the table

Where you'd work:​ Diageo has its corporate head office in central London, supported by West London-based Diageo GB and Dublin-based Diageo Ireland. On a global basis, Diageo employs more than 9,000 staff in the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa, at malt and grain distilleries, warehouses, blending, brewing and bottling sites

Do say at interview:​ I was brought up on the black stuff

Don't say at interview:​ So has the Irish smoking ban hit Guinness sales then?

Contact:​ 0207 927 5200

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