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Diageo North America Creates New Commercial Roles to Drive Growth

NORWALK, Conn., July 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diageo, the world's leading spirits, beer and wine company, announced leadership changes today designed to drive growth in its commercial business effective August 1.  The company announced the appointment of Kevin O'Neil, currently President, U.S. Spirits & TBA National Accounts and Sales Development, to the newly-created role of President & Chief Commercial Officer.  

"Over the past few years, Diageo has built a significant competitive advantage in our U.S. spirits business, and we want to continue to drive breakthrough growth," said Ivan Menezes, President & CEO of Diageo North America and Chairman Asia Pacific.  "By appointing Kevin to this newly created role, we are positioned to further accelerate our growth trajectory."

The creation of the President & Chief Commercial Officer role will create a comprehensive commercial team that will set the strategic sales and route to market agenda and provide best-in-class trade marketing for Diageo's North America sales teams.  In this new position, O'Neil will have the opportunity to expand his influence across the total U.S.& Canadian commercial teams, and will help to seamlessly connect brand marketing, innovation, trade marketing, sales and distributor management.  O'Neil will report to Larry Schwartz, President, Diageo USA.

"Kevin is uniquely positioned for this important new role given his depth of experience, strategic thought leadership and strong internal and external relationships," said Schwartz.  "By realigning Kevin's energy toward driving the strategic vision for Diageo's sales organization across spirits, beer and wine, our sales teams will be able to focus on delivering excellent execution with our distributors."

With Kevin's move, the responsibilities of managing the sales function will be led by Mark Hubler, President, U.S. Spirits Control States & TBA National Accounts and Pete Carr, currently President DGUSA Sales, who has been appointed to the newly-created role of President, U.S. Spirits Open States.  Reporting to Schwartz, Carr and Hubler will collaborate to drive growth by delivering outstanding customer, distributor and sales execution.  Carr's successor for President, DGUSA Sales, will be the subject of a separate announcement.  

Schwartz continued, "Pete brings tremendous leadership, expertise and experience to this new role and, together with Mark, will drive superior execution and help enable Diageo to deliver our ambitions."

Separately, Diageo also announced today that it has appointed Chris Davies, currently Managing Director of Diageo Business Services (DBS) based in Budapest, to the role of Chief Financial Officer for North America, effective September 1.  Current Chief Financial Officer of Diageo North America, Cathy Jessup, has decided to pursue a senior financial role outside of Diageo.  Davies has been with Diageo since 2003.  

"On behalf of Diageo's leadership team, we would sincerely like to thank Cathy for her many contributions during her time at Diageo North America, and we wish her every success in her future endeavors," said Menezes.  

About Diageo

Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O) is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.

Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).

For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit

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