Farewell to the architect of Diageo’s success over the past 10 years. Ivan Menezes is stepping down as chief executive of the business and will be replaced by chief operating officer Debra Crew.
An internal appointment theoretically lowers the chances of a radical shift in strategy.
The market reaction, with a mere 0.5% decline in the share price, shows that investors aren’t worried about big changes to the business. Instead, this looks like as smooth a transition as an athlete passing the baton in a sprint relay.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said: Menezes is the sixteenth longest serving CEO in the FTSE 100. Importantly, Crew becomes the thirteenth female boss of a FTSE 100 company, based on the CEO role or chair for investment trusts. That shows progress in bringing more equality to the boardrooms of UK-listed blue-chip companies, but many would argue a lot more needs to be done.”
There are two ways of looking at Ocado’s latest trading update. The negatives are that revenue is growing much slower than the rate of food inflation and the average basket size is in decline. The positives are that the Ocado/Marks & Spencer joint venture continues to grow its active customer numbers which suggests it must be doing something right.
“There have been worries that customers were trading down from the more expensive Ocado offering to cheaper options such as Tesco or Aldi. The latest trading update would imply that Ocado and Marks & Spencer can rest easy. It’s better to have a growing pool of active customers and wait for cost-of-living pressures to ease and basket sizes to improve than lose customers to rivals.”