Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes awarded knighthood

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes has received a knighthood in King Charles' first New Year’s Honours list, an appointment that allows him to use the title ‘sir’.

Menezes is one of Britain’s longest serving FTSE chief executives and has “transformed Diageo into the world’s leading premium drinks company, accounting for 10% (£2bn) of the UK’s total food and drinks exports,”  the write-up for the award on the UK government website said. 

The citation continued, “Diageo is one of the world’s leading companies on sustainability, receiving a Double A rating for Water Security and Climate Change and is committed to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030. 

“He champions for both women and the BAME community in British business and today, 42% of Diageo's senior leadership positions globally are held by women, while 37% are ethnically diverse." 

In November 2020, Menezes announced £1bn of investment in sustainability and community initiatives, and to tackle alcohol related harm. He was Chairman of Movement to Work from 2017-20, a UK voluntary organisation committed to tackling youth unemployment, “delivering 100,000 structured work placements for young people, with over 55% of participants securing permanent jobs”. 

Menezes is also a member of the British-Asian Trust’s Founders Circle and during the pandemic he produced more than 10 million bottles of hand sanitiser for healthcare workers around the world (including the NHS).

Menezes was appointed CEO of Diageo in July 2013, having been an executive director since July 2012.