Diageo CEO to Step Down After 13 Years

Diageo (NYSE:DEO) announced Tuesday that chief operating officer Ivan Menezes will replace current CEO Paul Walsh as he readies to retire in June 2014 after 13 years at the helm.

Menezes will become CEO effective July 1, 2013.

Walsh has led the company over the years through several focuses, finally honing in on the alcohol beverage market. The leading global distiller and vintner is now a $77 billion company by market cap, known for Guinness, Crown Royal, Captain Morgan and Ketel One.

Under his tenure, the company’s stock more than tripled. On Tuesday, its shares were virtually flat, trading around $122.58.

Walsh “has served our business, its shareholders, employees and partners with enormous imagination and dedication over the past 13 years," Diageo Chairman Franz Humer said in a statement. "I know he is justly proud of Diageo and its people and he leaves a great legacy for his successor."

The long-time chief, who will step down from the board at London-based Diageo’s annual shareholder meeting in September, will work closely with Menezes over the next 12 months to help smooth the transition, the company said.

The company is “delighted to have” Menezes’ “talents and global experience,” Humer said.

Menezes was believed to be the most likely successor to Walsh. He was appointed to chief operating officer in February 2012 and previously served as president of Diageo’s North America operations and chairman of its Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean businesses.