Diageo, world's largest distiller, says Ivan Menezes to replace Paul Walsh as chief executive

LONDON – Diageo, the world’s largest distiller, said Tuesday it will replace its long-serving CEO, Paul Walsh, with Ivan Menezes, the chief operating officer.

London-based Diageo PLC, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, says the appointment will take effect in July. Walsh will retire from the company in June 2014. Until then, he will help the new CEO and focus on external relationships.

Walsh has served for 13 years as head of the company, a tenure which included the sale of Burger King in 2002. In November, the company announced its intention to purchase a stake in United Spirits, the Indian drinks conglomerate.

Diageo has offices in 80 countries with manufacturing facilities throughout the world, including Britain, North America, Africa and South America.

Menezes was appointed chief operating officer in March 2012.

Diageo shares were trading 0.1 per cent higher at 1975 pence on Tuesday.