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Diageo on Tuesday boosted its CEO role to a non-executive board seat after Heineken, the Dutch brewer founded in 1857, said its group chief executive, Jean-François van Boxmeer, would step down from the C-suite to take the role.
The Dutch largest brewer said its chief financial officer, Jordi Cluzel, would take over on a permanent basis in the first half of 2020. Mr Cluzel, who joined Heineken in 2000 and has held various roles including that of managing director, was chosen for the role following a worldwide search.
Diageo, which has benefited from greater consumer acceptance of premium alcoholic drinks such as its Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka, said its chief executive Ivan Menezes, appointed by chairman Alan Parker in 2011, would take on the non-executive role from the end of March. Mr Menezes, whose more recent finance director was Terry Davis, becomes the second non-executive director at Diageo.
Diageo, with sales of £19.5bn, generates around two-thirds of its profit in the US, where it has expanded its spirits portfolio and international wine brands. Its 2011 purchase of the US drinks group US distiller Seagram led to the popular acquisition brand Smirnoff vodka and the launch of whisky brands such as Captain Morgan and Tanqueray.
Before joining Diageo in 2001, Mr Cluzel spent 13 years at the Coca-Cola empire. He holds a master’s degree in management from INSEAD in France.
For Diageo, there will be a chance to determine what company Mr Cluzel will join by the end of June. The next general meeting is expected at the end of May.