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Ex-Barcardi chief to become Diageo chairman

Published:  19 May, 2016

Javier Ferrán, a former chief executive of rum maker Bacardi, has been named as the new chairman of Diageo.

The Smirnoff producer announced yesterday that Ferrán, currently a non-executive director at beer producer SABMiller, will become its chairman on January 1, 2017.

He will join Diageo's board next month as a non-executive director before taking over as chairman from Swiss-Austrian businessman Dr Franz Humer, who plans to retire, in the new year.

Lord Davies of Abersoch, Diageo's senior non-executive director said: "The board is delighted that Javier has agreed to be the next chairman of Diageo. He has experience across the consumer sector, given his career at both Lion Capital and Bacardi, and he has demonstrated his ability to enable companies to drive value through the rigorous deployment of capital. He therefore brings a strong set of skills and experience to the role of chairman.

"On behalf of the board, I want to extend our thanks to Franz who has been our chairman for the last eight years during which time he has guided Diageo to the leadership position it has today. The board looks forward to Javier's chairmanship as he builds on all that Franz has achieved."

Mr Ferrán, who is currently a partner at Lion Capital, the consumer-focused private equity investor, will be appointed to the Diageo board as a non-executive director from 22 July.

Diageo's chief executive Ivan Menezes said: "Diageo is executing a clear strategy with discipline in order to deliver accelerated top line growth, greater productivity and continued strong cash flow. I look forward to working with Javier as we build Diageo's leadership position and achieve our ambition.

Spanish businessman Ferrán said: "It will be a privilege to chair the Diageo board. The company is in a strong position with leading brands, geographic reach and financial strength.

"It now has a consumer facing culture and a rigorous approach to the decisions it makes."

He added: "As chairman, it will be my role to work with the strong executive team, led by Ivan [Menezes, the CEO], to ensure that the company delivers its potential."