Guinness-maker Diageo announces death of ex-CEO

Alcoholic drinks giant Diageo said Wednesday that its long-serving chief executive Ivan Menezes had died after surgery on a stomach ulcer.

Indian-born Menezes, 63, died with his family at his side, Diageo said in a statement after revealing Monday that there had been complications after an emergency operation.

Diageo’s former chief operating officer Debra Crew was appointed interim chief executive at the start of this week.

She had been due to take over on a permanent basis from next month following Menezes’ planned retirement after 25 years at the group.

Menezes, a dual US-British citizen, spent the last decade as group CEO.

“It is with great sadness that Diageo announces that Sir Ivan Menezes has passed away,” said the British maker of Baileys liqueur, Captain Morgan rum, Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka.

Diageo chairman Javier Ferran said Menezes had been “undoubtedly one of the finest leaders of his generation”. — Agence France-Presse