Diageo names new chair as Javier Ferrán confirms retirement plans

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Sir John Manzoni will take on the role in February 2025. Credit: Diageo
Sir John Manzoni will take on the role in February 2025. Credit: Diageo

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Drinks giant Diageo has announced that Sir John Manzoni will become chair of the board in February 2025 when Javier Ferrán retires.

Ferrán will depart after nine years on the board and seven years as chair, having been appointed on 1 January 2017.

Meanwhile, Manzoni has served on the Diageo board since October 2020, arriving after he acted as chief executive of the UK Civil Service from 2014 to 2020. He is also the chair of energy business SSE and a non-executive director of engineering and technology business KBR.

Susan Kilsby, Diageo senior independent director, led the “extensive”​ appointment process and described Manzoni as possessing an “outstanding track record of leadership within beverage alcohol”​.

Kilsby continued: “His experience and expertise will be instrumental as Diageo continues to develop and grow its global business in the years ahead.”

Meanwhile, Kilsby said that Ferrán had led the board with “great distinction” ​and helped the firm attain “new levels of commercial success”.

“We are proud of the progress Diageo has made under his stewardship, achieving average annual total shareholder returns of 8% over the last decade, and driving diversity throughout our organisation, with over 70% of the Board and 44% of our senior leadership now comprised of women.”

Reflecting on his stint as chair, Ferrán added: “It has been a true privilege to lead Diageo’s Board during a period in which we have achieved significant growth, reshaped our portfolio and geographic footprint, and navigated widespread global volatility. I look forward to working with John, the Board and all my Diageo colleagues to ensure a smooth transition over the coming months.”

Finally, Manzoni said it was a “privilege” ​to succeed Ferrán and praised the departing chair for his “leadership and acumen”.

“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.”

In other news, Pilgrim’s Food Masters looks set to make up to 260 members of staff redundant due to the proposed closure of a manufacturing site in West London.

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