Menezes announced an efficiency drive in January

Menezes announced an efficiency drive in January

Diageo has outlined changes to its top-level management as it prepares to up its focus on China and India.

Gilbert Ghostine will take on responsibility for the two regions while passing over control of Asia-Pacific's other markets to Nick Blazquez, Diageo said today (28 March). Ghostine will also move into the newly-created role of chief corporate development officer, responsible for business development, and head up Diageo's relationship with Moët Hennessy.

The changes will take place on 1 July.

Blazquez, who is currently the president for Africa, Turkey, Russia, Central & Eastern Europe and global sales, will also take full responsibility for North Asia, South East Asia, Australia and GTME (global travel and Middle East). A Diageo spokesperson told just-drinks that current GTME head Doug Bagley will remain in his position but report to Blazquez.

Blazquez's new title is president, Diageo Africa, Eurasia and Pacific.

Meanwhile, David Cutter is to replace David Gosnell as head of global supply and procurement when Gosnell retires at the end of the financial year. Diageo is also to make the role report to Diageo's CFO, Deirdre Mahlan, instead of to CEO Ivan Menezes as it tries to maximise efficiencies and margins in the global supply chain.

The change is part of Menezes efficiency drive, announced this year, that targets savings of GBP200m (US$331m) a year by the end of fiscal 2016-2017.

The UK's Sunday Times reported last weekend that Menezes is preparing a reduction of middle management to help reach the target. However, just-drinks understands cuts will be made across the whole organisation and not just focus on the middle tier.

Ghostine's new role as president, Diageo India and Greater China, will allow the UK-based company to focus on key units in the regions, including Chinese spirits maker Shuijingfang, it said. 

Diageo took a controlling stake in Shuijingfang in July last year, while in India, Diageo has effective control of United Spirits after taking a 25% stake in the unit