Diageo announced today the appointment of Jonathan Symonds, chief financial officer of AstraZeneca PLC, to the Diageo board, effective on 1 May 2004.

His appointment brings the number of Diageo's independent non-executive directors to seven. He will be appointed to the audit committee, remuneration committee and nomination committee and it is intended that, upon Keith Oates' retirement at the conclusion of Diageo's Annual General Meeting on 20 October 2004, he will be appointed chairman of the audit committee.

Commenting on the appointment, Diageo chairman Lord Blyth  said: "I am delighted to welcome Jonathan to the Diageo Board. He brings a different perspective to our boardroom and we are very much looking forward to working with him."