Lavanya Chandrashekar to succeed Kathryn Mikells as Diageo CFO

UK – British multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo has announced that Lavanya Chandrashekar will succeed the company’s CFO Kathryn Mikells.

The alcohol firm has announced that Kathryn Mikells will return to the US at the end of June after almost six years in the role.

Meanwhile, Lavanya Chandrashekar, the current CFO of Diageo North America and global head of investor relations, will take her place from 1 July.

As part of her upcoming role, Chandrashekar will join the Diageo executive committee and board.

She joined Diageo in her current role in July 2018, where she has since been said to have accelerated growth in Diageo’s North American business and, subsequently, has taken on accountability for investor relations globally.

Prior to joining Diageo, Chandrashekar worked at Mondelēz International for four and a half years and spent 18 years at Procter & Gamble in in various senior finance positions.

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Mikells on the other joined Diageo from the Xerox Corporation and relocated to London in November 2015.

She has since been deemed as instrumental in driving Diageo’s improved performance and in leading a substantial global productivity programme.

Diageo CEO, Ivan Menezes, said: “I am immensely grateful for the leadership role Kathy has played in making Diageo a consistent top-tier performer.”

“She has made a significant contribution to Diageo’s improved performance trajectory, including her leadership of a substantial global productivity programme and her critical role in active management of our brand portfolio through our acquisition and disposal activities.”

Menezes further noted that he was delighted that Lavanya will take up the role of chief financial officer.

“She brings a breadth of international experience, has an exceptional grasp of consumer products value creation and world class experience of effective cost management,” Menezes added.

Lavanya Chandrashekar is taking the helm of Diageo’s finances at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the alcohol industry.

In its latest financial results, Diageo reported net sales of a£11.8 billion- an 8.7% driven by decline when compared to the same period last year.

The British multinational reported also operating profit £2.1 billion, a decline of 47.1%, driven mainly by exceptional operating items and organic net sales.

Chandrashekar will thus have her plate full from day one as the company will be looking forward to her input on how to turn around the losses that have been occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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