Diageo announced the appointment of Debra Crew as chief executive in March of this year after it was revealed that Menezes was to retire this month.
However, this date was pushed forward after the drinks giant learned that Menezes recovery after treatment for a stomach ulcer suffered a significant setback due to complications over the weekend.
Crew has taken the position of chief executive with immediate effect ahead of her original appointment and joining the board as an executive director on 1 July 2023.
A spokesman for Diageo said: “Our thoughts are with our much-loved colleague, Ivan, and his family. Out of respect for Ivan and his family’s privacy, we will not be commenting further at this time.”
Crew has an extensive history within the food and drink industry, having previously spent five years with PepsiCo as president for its North America Nutrition, Beverages and Western Europe operations. She has also held positions at Kraft Foods, Nestlé and Mars.
Sir Ivan Menezes will retire from the business on 30 June after 10 years as chief executive. He began his career with the drinks firm in 1997 through the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997 and has held a number of senior positions during his tenure – from chief operating officer to president of Diageo North America.
Commenting on the original announcement, Diageo chairman Javier Ferrán said: “Under [Ivan’s] stewardship, Diageo has consistently delivered a truly impressive performance to become one of the most respected businesses in the world.
“Ivan leaves Diageo extremely well positioned for future growth, and we thank him again for everything he has helped us to achieve.”
Meanwhile, Valeo Foods has announced another senior appointment as the British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association brings on a new chief executive.