Diageo’s new chief executive, Ivan Menezes, has rejected claims that the drinks giant may be looking to dispose of the Guinness brand.
Menezes, who was last month announced as Paul Walsh’s successor, said that such a move was “not going to happen”, stating, “We define ourselves as a premium drinks business and Guinness is core within that.”
Commenting on his chosen strategy for Diageo, Indian-born Menezes said that a key aim would be to keep the company “very agile”, noting that while Guinness has struggled somewhat in traditional markets such as Ireland and Britain in recent years, the brand has proved a success in Africa.
“The route to market we get with beer gives us an advantage in spirits,” Menezes explained. “Johnnie Walker, for example, has tripled in size in the last few years in Africa.”
Elsewhere, it has been confirmed that Paul Walsh, who resigned as chief executive at Diageo last month, is to receive a €53 million (£46 million) ‘golden handshake’ payment when he leaves the drinks giant after 13 years at the helm in July.