There is more change at the top of Scotch whisky giant Diageo.

The Johnnie Walker, J&B, and Talisker distiller has announced that Sir John Manzoni will take over as chairman on February 5, 2025, when current incumbent Javier Ferran retires from the board. It completes the replacement of two of the most senior posts at the company, following the appointment last year of Debra Crew as chief executive. Ms Crew stepped up to the role more quickly than originally planned, following the sudden passing of former boss Sir Ivan Menezes last June.

Sir John has been on the board of Diageo since October 2020, having spent the six years prior as chief executive of the UK Civil Service. Currently chairman of SSE, the Perth-based energy company, he is no stranger to the drinks industry, with his resume including an 11-year spell as a non-executive director of brewing giant SAB Miller.

Susan Kilsby, Diageo's senior independent director who led the appointment process, said: “On behalf of the entire board, I want to express our gratitude to Javier. He has led our board with great distinction, helping us to attain new levels of commercial success and to strengthen our position as one of the most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world.

“We are proud of the progress Diageo has made under his stewardship, achieving average annual total shareholder returns of 8% over the last decade, and driving diversity throughout our organisation, with over 70% of the board and 44% of our senior leadership now comprised of women.

"The board is delighted to appoint John as Diageo's next chair, following an extensive search process. John has an outstanding track record of leadership within beverage alcohol and across a number of other complex and fast-changing sectors in the UK and globally. His experience and expertise will be instrumental as Diageo continues to develop and grow its global business in the years ahead.”

Sir John said: "It will be a privilege to take on this role and to succeed Javier, whose leadership and acumen have been so valuable to our business and to Board colleagues.”