'An Incredible Thought Leader in the Corporate World'

Here are some of the comments from Diageo employees and business leaders posted on LinkedIn following the news of the death of Sir Ivan Menezes:

  • Heartbreaking!! Diageo, the World, and myself have lost an amazing leader, a great cool person, and if I may say so, a Friend.  A friend to diversity, to the marginalized, to authenticity and to doing the right thing.  This news is just starting to hit me and I am shedding tears for our loss, for his family's loss, for everyone's loss!!--Kimberly Williams, vp-manufacturing, Reynolds American
  • Very very sad day and massive loss. What an incredible thought leader in the corporate world. Sending best thoughts and wishes to his family and sending strength to the whole Diageo family around the world. It is a loss to us all! – Michael Smollan, Chief Growth Officer, Smollan
  • Ivan was an inspirational leader with a kind and positive presence that we'll remember always.  So many of us admired him, and looked forward to his positivity that motivated all of us to give our best for the past 10 years.  He will be very dearly missed. – Alexandria Espinosa, brand manager, Diageo
  • The Diageo family will miss Ivan enormously. In my 20 years in the business I’ve got so many fond memories. I’ll forever admire his deeply held values, respect for others and enormous passion for doing business the right way. What an inspiration.– Chris Goddard, global marketing vp, Johnnie Walker
  • A terrible loss, especially as I imagine Ivan had so much left to teach leaders of global behemoths how to lead with both authenticity and a fiery competitive spirit. Ivan was a master at setting the tone in an organization, and his walkaround days in the office were a perennial source of inspiration for marketing leaders. RIP. – Keith Scott, Brand marketing leader
  • I got to know Ivan 31 years ago in London, when he was already a leader on the move and I was an intern at his company in the summer between the two years at business school. I remember how he stopped one afternoon just to make me feel welcome. Over the years, our paths have crossed in the US, India and finally in London- as two CEOs of Indian origin, leading companies, through a very difficult COVID period. Ivan led Diageo superbly. He leaves such an incredible legacy.  He loved the company, its brands and its people.  He was classy, bold, kind, thoughtful and so downright modest- a true “gentle, giant” of a leader. While in lockdown, he’d call just to find out how I was; and how my mother was. I sought out his sage advice and judgment on difficult questions. – Laxman Narasimhan,  CEO, Starbucks Coffee Co.
  • Ivan was an exceptional leader whose contributions to the spirits industry were immeasurable. His visionary approach, unwavering commitment to responsibility, and dedication to building some of the world's best brands will forever be remembered.  Ivan's passion for the spirits industry will be greatly missed. Under his guidance on the DISCUS board, the spirits industry experienced tremendous achievements, witnessing remarkable growth, while also prioritizing sustainability and diversity initiatives to enhance the entire spirits sector. Ivan’s tireless dedication to fostering inclusivity and his commitment to consumers played a pivotal role in driving the industry forward. On behalf of the Distilled Spirits Council, Responsibility.org and our members, we extend our deepest condolences to Ivan's family, loved ones and colleagues as they navigate this profound loss.” – Chris Swonger, president/ceo, Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. and Responsibility,org

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